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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Sunday Funnies: Scientology going all-in with fundraising and fire fighters

Dave_WellsHey, it’s nice to get to our weekly feature, Sunday Funnies, when we can sit back and watch our great commenters take apart the latest fundraising fliers put out by Scientology.

Our tipsters have another fun collection for us this week, and as always we’ll be looking for interesting patterns or wacky new theme-party ideas.

Continue reading Sunday Funnies: Scientology going all-in with fundraising and fire fighters

LEAK: Scientology celebrities are stepping up their involvement behind the scenes

Kirstie_Alley_Jenna_ElfmanOur tipsters have sent us several emails and fliers lately that suggest to us that there’s something interesting going on with Scientology’s celebrities.

If you recall, we suggested in recent months that we had noticed a marked increase of activity from some of the most reliable Scientology actor types. Kirstie Alley, Kelly Preston, and Nancy Cartwright all recently completed “Operating Thetan Level 7,” one of the most difficult high-level courses on “The Bridge,” and one that can take years to finish. Also, actress Marisa Nichols finished OT 8, the highest level of all, which is only delivered on board Scientology’s private cruise ship the Freewinds. Cartrwight, Alley, and Michelle Stafford have also recently been spotted on the ship.

Continue reading LEAK: Scientology celebrities are stepping up their involvement behind the scenes

Gerry Armstrong’s full 1997 ‘Secret Lives’ interview about L. Ron Hubbard

Gerry_Armstrong_SLWe have a special treat for you today. It’s another full interview leaked for the first time from Channel 4’s excellent 1997 documentary, Secret Lives — L. Ron Hubbard, and this time with Gerry Armstrong, who is probably very well known to most readers of this website.

The documentary is one of the better ones made about Scientology, and it contains numerous short clips of people who knew Hubbard. A source is releasing to us the uncut segments with these participants for the first time. So far, we’ve seen interviews with Hubbard’s literary agent, Forrest Ackerman, his press assistant and lover, Barbara Klowden, one of Hubbard’s fellow science fiction colleagues, Arthur Jean Cox, the former mayor of Clearwater, Florida, Gabe Cazares, and Hubbard’s former medical officer, Jim Dincalci.

Continue reading Gerry Armstrong’s full 1997 ‘Secret Lives’ interview about L. Ron Hubbard

Can you help solve this odd Scientology financial mystery?

RamsayDetailWe’re calling on the super-sleuths who frequent the Underground Bunker to help us out in an intriguing little mystery.

It involves a large payment to one of Scientology’s key entities, and in a manner that seems to defy explanation.

Here’s the background. About a year and a half ago, a man named Jonathan Ramsay inquired with the Church of Scientology about the accounts left behind by his father, Peter Ramsay, a Toronto Scientologist who died three years ago.

Continue reading Can you help solve this odd Scientology financial mystery?

Now it’s Scientology UK that opens its books, and we have the numbers

BritishPoundsWhat a week of “dox” we have going on this week in the Underground Bunker. Scientology Australia had to open up its books because of changes in the law there, and on Monday we had the latest numbers and a rare peek inside Scientology finances. Yesterday, a release of government documents gave us our first look ever at L. Ron Hubbard’s high school grades. (Random, we know.)

And now, today, another telling disclosure. We have the latest filing for the finances of Scientology’s organizations in the UK which, for bizarre reasons we’ll explain in a minute, are actually registered with Australia’s national charities commission.

Continue reading Now it’s Scientology UK that opens its books, and we have the numbers

New government release contains a surprise: L. Ron Hubbard flunked out of high school, too!

Hubbard in 1928

Hubbard in 1928

We have another surprising set of documents recently unearthed by a researcher who is a friend to the Underground Bunker and has been making use of the Muckrock website for submitting Freedom of Information Act record requests.

For several weeks now, we’ve been plowing through documents released by the Food and Drug Administration, which investigated L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology for a 1963 raid of the Washington DC “Founding Church,” and then continued to gather information during 8 years of intense litigation over health claims made by Scientology for its “E-meter.”

We have found that FDA inspectors looked into every aspect of Hubbard’s life, and in these new documents, we learn that in 1963 they dug up a pretty complete set of Hubbard’s school records. Longtime Scientology watchers know that transcripts of Hubbard’s brief college career have been online for many years. But now, for the first time, we have his high school grades.

Continue reading New government release contains a surprise: L. Ron Hubbard flunked out of high school, too!

Scientology Australia spills its guts, and you can thank Bryan Seymour and Nick Xenophon

Nick_XenophonFor several years, one of Australia’s crusading senators, covered closely by one of the country’s most dogged television reporters, put pressure on the Church of Scientology to face more regulation with the creation of a national charities commission.

That effort paid off yesterday in a big way when Scientology’s internal financial reports were revealed for the first time by the Australian press, providing a rare look at how the organization is faring in that country.

Continue reading Scientology Australia spills its guts, and you can thank Bryan Seymour and Nick Xenophon

Sunday Funnies: Scientology’s latest insider fliers for your dissection and delectation

SciStaffIt’s that time of the week again, when we serve up the latest Scientology fundraising fliers and mailers that have been forwarded to us by our great tipsters.

We call it Sunday Funnies, and we hope you enjoy the collection of items we have for you today. And at the end of it, we have a new video from Karen de la Carriere!

So let’s dig in.

Continue reading Sunday Funnies: Scientology’s latest insider fliers for your dissection and delectation

When Scientology was pouring on the ‘religious’ angle very thick: A video mystery

Sci1972Jonny Jacobsen, our man in Paris, sent over a fun item today. We’ll let him explain what it is.

I stumbled across this 20-minute reportage on Scientology, shot mainly at their Saint Hill base and broadcast in January 1972 on French television.

This two-minute extract introduces you to a number of people occupying important positions at the time, but they are not all identified by name here or even in the complete 20-minute piece. (Some of them don’t even appear beyond this introduction.)

Continue reading When Scientology was pouring on the ‘religious’ angle very thick: A video mystery

Scientology’s Orwellian methods of control explained in a new book by Jefferson Hawkins

Closing-Minds-CoverJefferson Hawkins has put out another book about Scientology — and this one is based on the work he did here at the Underground Bunker in his series about Scientology’s bizarre system of ‘ethics.’

He’s updated and added to the series and collected it all in an ebook which is available on Amazon. He also sent us the book’s preface, and we’re going to reproduce it here.

Continue reading Scientology’s Orwellian methods of control explained in a new book by Jefferson Hawkins