Our man in Paris, British journalist Jonny Jacobsen, is back with another great piece — this time, a lengthy review of the newest book recounting the journey into and out of the Church of Scientology.
Underground Bunker regulars will recall that Hungarian ex-Scientology member Peter Bonyai (pictured, right) helped us out with a story in April on the supposedly transparent and independent Central-European Religious Freedom Institute (CERFI). (Jura Nanuk, who heads up the lobbying organisation, had somehow forgotten to mention his allegiance to Scientology at the group’s website. Nor, so far as I can see, has the situation changed.)
Continue reading Jonny Jacobsen reviews the new Scientology memoir by Hungarian writer Peter Bonyai
The last time we reported on the 19 lawsuits filed against Scientology’s drug rehab network Narconon by Las Vegas attorney Ryan Hamilton, we told you that Hamilton had won a decisive victory in the Geanacopulos lawsuit when Judge James C. Mahan denied the motion to dismiss filed by Narconon International and the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE).
We called it an across-the-board victory as Judge Mahan knocked down each of the arguments made by International and ABLE, and we may have been more right than we realized.
Continue reading Signs of chaos emerge for Scientology’s drug rehab legal defense
We hope you’re having a great holiday weekend and we’re happy that you could drop in at the Underground Bunker for some Sunday Funnies.
It’s our weekly feature that allows us to show off the best Scientology mailers and fliers that have been forwarded to us by our great tipsters. And we’re going to start off with a slick new ad for the Sea Org that contains an interesting admission.
Continue reading Sunday Funnies: Oops, Scientology reveals a key fact about the size of its membership
Martin Ottmann is a longtime critic of the Church of Scientology who is known for his dogged search for documents that describe every aspect of Scientology management and life. We asked him to bring some of his expertise to the Underground Bunker and help us dig into the dark corners of this secretive organization.
Martin sent us a 1974 document written by L. Ron Hubbard, who was apparently irritated by flagging sales at Scientology outlets.
Continue reading Scientology training includes how to physically pull cash away from a reluctant patsy
Filmmaker Mark Bunker was dubbed “Wise Beard Man” by the Anonymous movement in 2008. We’ve been reading Mark’s observations about Scientology since the late 1990s, and we’re eagerly awaiting his documentary about Scientology, “Knowledge Report.”
Bunker’s recent return to Clearwater to live has us very intrigued. He told us he was going to approach the city’s new police chief about the infamous injunction that defines how protesters and the Church of Scientology can interact downtown, and we told him we wanted to know how it went. So he sent us over a full report! How did it go, Mark?
Continue reading Scientology yesterday and today: Reports from Mark Bunker and Dennis Erlich
We’ve been leaked a video which could not be a more perfect distillation of Scientology as it exists in 2014.
This thing, well, it’s — it’s beautiful.
Before we show it to you, we want to help you put it in context. The few remaining Scientologists in Atlanta, like other cities in the U.S., are under intense pressure to donate huge amounts of money in order to pay for a new building they don’t need. These new facilities are called “Ideal Orgs,” and just yesterday former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder posted a great backgrounder on this maniacal decade-long push by church leader David Miscavige.
Continue reading Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest Scientology video in the history of Scientology videos
Martin Ottmann was in Scientology relatively briefly: He first got involved in Stuttgart in 1989, joined the Sea Organization and went to Clearwater in 1990, and by the end of 1992, after returning to Germany, he was out. Since then, however, he’s become known for his dogged pursuit of documents that reflect every possible detail of Scientology management and Scientology life. We asked him to bring some of his expertise to the Underground Bunker and help us dig into the dark corners of this secretive organization.
To start things off, Martin sent us a 1989 document that was smuggled out of Scientology’s Pacific Area Command (PAC Base), its big Los Angeles complex in the former Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. The document describes a change in policy that made it even more difficult for Sea Org parents to spend time with their children. Sea Org members are Scientology’s most dedicated workers — they sign billion-year contracts and work 110-hour weeks for pennies an hour.
Continue reading The Document: When Scientology canceled ‘Family Time’
Joe Childs at the Tampa Bay Times
Suncoast’s future location, a former church
last night reported that there’s trouble potentially brewing for the Scientology drug rehab facility in Hernando County, Florida.
Suncoast Rehabilitation Center, part of Scientology’s Narconon network, has been in the news recently for a dispute with the county over its expansion plans. The Times has closely watched that battle, which took a fortunate turn for Suncoast when it successfully appealed a low damage award (the case is now in mediation). Childs reported last month that another facility, a former church, was purchased in Clearwater by the same owners, and we told you that according to our sources Suncoast is planning on moving its operation from Hernando County to the Clearwater location.
Continue reading More trouble for Scientology’s drug rehab network, Narconon — this time in Florida
We’ve really enjoyed the explanatory videos put together by Chris Shelton, a former Scientology Sea Org worker who left the church only recently.
We’re happy to premiere his newest effort, a lengthy but fascinating look at Scientology’s management — how it’s supposed to work, and why it isn’t.
Continue reading Chris Shelton explains why Scientology is in a management death spiral
It’s time for Sunday Funnies, our weekly feature for reviewing the Scientology mailers forwarded to us by our great tipsters. And once again, we have a bushel of fun circulars put out by the fundraisingest church on earth.
But first, we have to hand it to Scientology junior spokesman Bob Adams for taking the church’s public relations to OT 9.
Yesterday, a press release disguised as a news story carrying Bob’s byline showed up on something totally not sketchy called “World Religion News.”
Continue reading Scientology claims credit for solving the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri