Tony Ortega is executive editor of The Raw Story and is formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He's written about Scientology since 1995, and has a forthcoming book about the subject. 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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Should Louis Theroux be worried? What a Scientology ‘documentary’ actually looks like

Louis_Theroux_thumbWe thought it was very smart of filmmaker Louis Theroux to tweet last week that Scientology’s attorneys have told him the church plans to make a documentary about him now that his own film about Scientology is in the can.

We’ve been telling you for some time that Louis and the BBC have been working on a documentary about Scientology. Theroux recently said publicly that his film is going to be very different from Alex Gibney’s super-successful HBO movie, Going Clear, which turned out to be one of the most-watched documentaries in HBO history.

Continue reading Should Louis Theroux be worried? What a Scientology ‘documentary’ actually looks like

EXCLUSIVE: Secretly taped briefing uncovers precarious state of Scientology right now

Andres_Rodriguez2The Underground Bunker has obtained a secretly recorded audiotape that reveals what “public” Scientologists are being told by church management at a time when Scientology is reeling from negative press and dwindling membership, and members are under incredible pressure to donate money.

This is the second time in recent weeks that we’ve been provided a rare view inside Scientology, which is notoriously circumspect about what actually goes on behind its closed doors. On March 30, we posted a truly stunning recording that captured a woman being “declared” a “suppressive person,” resulting in her expulsion and then facing the prospect of her family being ripped apart.

Continue reading EXCLUSIVE: Secretly taped briefing uncovers precarious state of Scientology right now

Jon Atack announces a five-day Toronto conference on Scientology to take place in June

Jon_AtackJon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and for more than a year on Saturdays he helped us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet. He was kind enough to send us a new post.

Actually, Jon, it’s not a new post you’ve sent us but an announcement and an invitation?

Continue reading Jon Atack announces a five-day Toronto conference on Scientology to take place in June

Scientology opens a new ‘Ideal Org’ in Basel this weekend — nearly a year after its last one

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Our man in Paris — British journalist Jonny Jacobsen — has a special report for us today about what’s been happening in Switzerland. Almost a year since the last new “Ideal Org” opened in Sydney on May 4, 2014, a new one is set to open this weekend. That’s a much slower pace than Scientology leader David Miscavige was on in past years, an indication perhaps of how much more difficult it has become to raise funds from a dwindling membership.

Jacobsen has been talking to the locals, and he sets us up for this weekend’s festivities. Take it away, Jonny…

 
Continue reading Scientology opens a new ‘Ideal Org’ in Basel this weekend — nearly a year after its last one

See ‘Going Clear’ star Hana Whitfield describe L. Ron Hubbard in a leaked 1997 interview

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Hana Eltringham Whitfield was one of the stars of Alex Gibney’s documentary about Scientology, Going Clear. Her memories as the captain of L. Ron Hubbard’s flagship as he ran Scientology from sea in late 1960s and early 1970s was one of the highlights of the film. Now, we have a leak from a previous documentary, UK Channel 4’s excellent 1997 Secret Lives — L. Ron Hubbard, which featured Hana prominently.

Continue reading See ‘Going Clear’ star Hana Whitfield describe L. Ron Hubbard in a leaked 1997 interview

Scientology: Making fools of your local elected lunkheads since 1952

KCIdealIn 2003, your proprietor moved to Kansas City. It was something of a leap of faith. We’re from Los Angeles, and we’d lived in New York, and we didn’t have a lot of familiarity with the middle of the country. But it turned out to be one of the best moves we ever made.

We’re still best friends with some of the people we met during the two years we lived there, and we have fond memories of our time as managing editor of The Pitch, a weekly newspaper.

We were pleasantly surprised to receive a call recently from a writer currently working for The Pitch who wanted to get some help with a really interesting story he was putting together.

Continue reading Scientology: Making fools of your local elected lunkheads since 1952

Marc Headley reveals the embarrassing technological secrets of Scientology

Marc_Headley_Jeff_AugustineWe have another treat for you today. Jeffrey Augustine has Marc Headley back for his latest podcast, and it’s a good one.

Marc worked at Scientology’s secretive Int Base for 15 years, and got a rare view inside of the technical side of Scientology. He was intimately involved in the production of Scientology’s lectures and videos and e-meters.

Continue reading Marc Headley reveals the embarrassing technological secrets of Scientology

AUDIO: Full police interviews of Scientology spies and their stalking of Ron Miscavige Sr.

SilencerWe’ve been hearing some brief segments of the police interviews of the Scientology spies who were arrested in Wisconsin in 2013. Now, we have the full interrogations of Dwyane and Daniel Powell, who were being paid $10,000 a week to stalk Ron Miscavige Sr by his son, Scientology leader David Miscavige.

Continue reading AUDIO: Full police interviews of Scientology spies and their stalking of Ron Miscavige Sr.

See the message a Scientologist sends to disconnect from a best friend, forever

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Here at the Underground Bunker we’ve brought you many stories of “disconnection,” the toxic Scientology policy that rips families apart. But not every order to disconnect involves the kind of family heartbreak that we saw with Sara Goldberg, for example, in Alex Gibney’s film Going Clear.

When Scientology orders people to cut off ties, it can have consequences not only for families but for close friends and in unexpected ways.

Continue reading See the message a Scientologist sends to disconnect from a best friend, forever

Another wacky Scientology testimonial video — and an Underground Bunker announcement!

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Scientology has sent out another frenetic video to its members, including it in a DVD that they’ve mailed out with a glossy magazine, ‘International Scientology News.’

Continue reading Another wacky Scientology testimonial video — and an Underground Bunker announcement!