Tony Ortega is executive editor of TheLipTV and is formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He's written about Scientology since 1995, and in May 2015 released a book about Scientology's harassment of Paulette Cooper titled 'The Unbreakable Miss Lovely.' He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world from an undisclosed location in an underground bunker he shares with four cats and one of them wrinkly Shar Pei dogs. Despite his super-secret security protections, you can still reach him pretty easily by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT gmail.com (Drop him a line if you'd like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.) [Header image courtesy John Rickard]
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The Church of Scientology’s forgotten president: Karen de la Carriere on Heber Jentzsch

Heber_JentzschWe’ll never forget when we got the message from Karen de la Carriere in July 2012. She had found out — through the help of Aaron Smith-Levin, we now have learned — that her son, Alexander Jentzsch, had suddenly died at 27.

Alex was not only Karen’s son, but also the son of Heber Jentzsch, who is still the nominal president of the Church of Scientology International (pictured, right).

Continue reading The Church of Scientology’s forgotten president: Karen de la Carriere on Heber Jentzsch

How Scientology schools prepare young minds for the rigors of the Sea Org

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Wow, Nick Lister and Aaron Smith-Levin are on a roll. Last week’s video segment from their series, ‘Growing Up in Scientology,’ described Nick’s discovery that Tom Cruise had banished a 14-year-old niece for two years from his family because she’d been caught on video kissing a boy. That story got picked up by Radar Online (which keeps a close watch on this website) and then spun out to a number of other worldwide outlets.

This week, Nick gives us a fascinating look behind the scenes at Scientology schools, which are used for recruiting children in their early teens into Scientology’s Sea Org after several years of indoctrination. Here’s Aaron’s description of the clip…

Continue reading How Scientology schools prepare young minds for the rigors of the Sea Org

From Cradle to Slave: Nora Crest starts her video series with frank talk about Scientology and sex

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Nora Crest dazzled attendees at the Toronto Scientology conference organized by Jon Atack last month, and now you’re going to get a taste of her storytelling talents with the video she’s allowing us to debut here today.

Continue reading From Cradle to Slave: Nora Crest starts her video series with frank talk about Scientology and sex

A new look inside Scientology’s bomb-proof vaults, and a visit to Hubbard’s final rodeo

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We’re traveling today, and we’re grateful to our tipsters for keeping us supplied with good material while we look for some time to do some reporting on new stories.

We have contributions from two tipsters today that happened to hit on a similar theme — Scientology’s super-secretive entity, the “Church of Spiritual Technology” (CST), and its Space Age underground vaults.

Continue reading A new look inside Scientology’s bomb-proof vaults, and a visit to Hubbard’s final rodeo

Happy Birthday, Miss Lovely: A tribute to the dauntless and unbreakable Paulette Cooper

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On July 26, 1942, Ruchla Minkowski Bucholc gave birth to her second daughter, a girl she named Paula.

Today, the world knows little Paula Bucholc by another name and for her inspiring life story. We wish you a happy birthday, Paulette Cooper.

Continue reading Happy Birthday, Miss Lovely: A tribute to the dauntless and unbreakable Paulette Cooper

A video response to Scientology’s crass celebrities, Jenna and Bodhi Elfman

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Things keep getting stranger and stranger here in the Underground Bunker — and we love it! A couple of days ago, we posted a video of Scientology celebrities Jenna and Bodhi Elfman which was the latest in their series of what they call “Kicking and Screaming,” a series of short videos with the two of them talking about their lives.

Continue reading A video response to Scientology’s crass celebrities, Jenna and Bodhi Elfman

Long before Xenu: Scientology’s actual origin story, as told by a former member

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We have a real treat for you today. Derek Bloch noticed that Scientology’s “Xenu” story that was made famous in South Park in 2005 and was given another great treatment in Alex Gibney’s film Going Clear this year (pictured above) is often referred to as Scientology’s “origin story.” This is simply untrue. The Xenu incident, which resulted in so many beings brought to and vaporized on Earth, took place a mere 75 million years ago. But Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard claimed that the universe itself was some 4 quadrillion years old, and that it had been created by “bored” thetans playing some kind of game. Derek, a longtime presence here at the Underground Bunker, submitted this essay to explain how he was taught to believe the universe got here, and the narrative of the cosmos that he learned as a member of the organization. Here, then, is the overall, overarching purpose of Scientology, which rarely gets spelled out in such detail. We hope you find it as fascinating as we did — and we’d really like to hear from other former members of the church how much of this they were aware of as they were working their way up the Bridge to Total Freedom.

Continue reading Long before Xenu: Scientology’s actual origin story, as told by a former member

The Church of Scientology: A rollicking legacy of belligerence, profanity, paranoia, and violence

The Church of Scientology has long promoted itself as the most ethical group on the planet. However, the following thirty examples, collected by our friend Jeffrey Augustine and listed here chronologically, present a prolific portrait of Church belligerence, profanity, paranoia, and violence in recent years. We sense a trend.

1. September 2004: Scientology OT Tom Cruise in Rolling Stone, “The Passion of the Cruise,” sets the tone for bad behavior. As the world would later learn, the church was secretly auditioning wife candidates for Tom Cruise that year.

 
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Continue reading The Church of Scientology: A rollicking legacy of belligerence, profanity, paranoia, and violence

How Scientology is Tom Cruise? How he put ethics ‘ruthlessly’ in on his own family

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 Aaron Smith-Levin has another clip from his YouTube project, “Growing Up in Scientology,” and this one is really something. Once again, he’s interviewed Nick Lister, who was talked about in Alex Gibney’s documentary Going Clear. Nick has some revelations about working in the Tom Cruise household and how seriously Tom holds Scientology’s concepts of discipline, even as it applies to his own family. Aaron has supplied us with this description of what you’re going to see…

Some in the media have speculated that perhaps Tom Cruise is considering leaving Scientology so he can spend more time with his daughter Suri. More serious media outlets know that this is just spin. Nick has a story which provides some new insight into just how militantly Tom uses the policies of Scientology and to what degree the Church of Scientology has been involved in every aspect of his life, beyond finding him girlfriends and tricking out cars and airplane hangars.

Continue reading How Scientology is Tom Cruise? How he put ethics ‘ruthlessly’ in on his own family

Scientology’s speechwriter, the word of God, and a Hubbard bio that will never see the light of day

 
One of the benefits of our book tour is that we’re getting to meet people around the country who we’ve only known through the Internet or on the telephone. In Denver we finally met Claire Headley for the first time. In DC, it was the amazing researcher Mary McConnell. In Toronto, it’s a list so long we were left stunned.

And then, this week, we made our first ever trip to Dallas and got to know Steve Hall.

Continue reading Scientology’s speechwriter, the word of God, and a Hubbard bio that will never see the light of day