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Jon Atack puts us on the spot at the Toronto Scientology conference

CFITorontoThis morning, Paulette Cooper and your proprietor will be on the hot seat at the Scientology conference in Toronto. Jon Atack has asked us to speak about Paulette’s legendary harassment by the Church of Scientology as a way to discuss the Guardian’s Office and the Office of Special Affairs — the spy wings of the only church that we know of that has a spy wing.

In advance of our talk, Atack sent us out a questionnaire. We did our best to provide some cogent answers. So here we go…

JON: You’ve grilled (broiled?) me many times over the last two years, so it must be my turn, by now. I was near the end of my first stint, back in 1995, when you first appeared on the scene, and I really did avoid anything to do with Scientology for 17 years thereafter, so I don’t really know how you got here. First please fill in your back story – where were you born and what you studied at college.

I grew up in the three garden spots of Southern California — the Los Angeles suburbs of Compton, Bellflower, and Anaheim. After high school, I received the highest award an incoming freshman could garner at Columbia University, the Jon Jay Scholarship. One benefit of that exclusive club was that I actually ended up, with my fellow award winners, having dinner with Rupert Murdoch. This was in 1981 in New York City, and I’m certain it made a huge impression on him. Anyway, I spent three semesters at Columbia before realizing I had no business trying to scrounge up what it cost to go to an Ivy League school even with a scholarship, then finished my English degree back home at Cal State Fullerton. By then I was having such a good time I stayed for a masters degree as well. Then I spent more time teaching and studying at UC Santa Cruz, which left me “all but dissertation” for a doctorate in literature. But then things changed, I moved, and I managed to beg my way into a job at a newspaper that was roaring at the time, the Phoenix New Times.

I’ve worked with perhaps 200 journalists over the years. It is rare to find a journalist with a cause. For many, it is just a job. What decided you on a career in journalism?

I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t really know how you got paid to do so. The daily newspapers didn’t appeal to me, and so I probably spent more time than I needed to in the academic circuit. But then I ran into the New Times, and fell in love with their kind of hard-hitting, narrative journalism. It was obvious that the writers there were having the times of their lives.

What was your media experience, prior to your appointment at The Village Voice?

I wrote about a lot of different things at the Phoenix New Times, but it was my first cover story, in November 1995, that really helped me get a permanent staff writer job there. The story was about a man named Rick Ross, and it was my first story that involved Scientology. Over the next several years, the company that owned the New Times employed me as a writer or editor at their outlets in Los Angeles, Kansas City, Fort Lauderdale, and then finally The Village Voice in New York, where I was editor-in-chief from 2007 to 2012.

What stories are you most proud of, other than the Scientology ones?

I’m still very partial to the story that revealed what happened to Robert Burnham, Jr. He was a legend among people who use telescopes, and he’d vanished. I tracked down his sister, and then learned his full story, which shocked a lot of people. I’m also still fond of other stories I did about a comet discovery, a piece I did debunking the “Phoenix Lights,” a long look at a Wyatt Earp controversy, and a family story with connections to John Steinbeck. As an editor, I was very proud of Kelly Cramer’s piece on Bruce McMahan, and Graham Rayman’s series on the NYPD.

When did Scientology first cross your horizon?

I grew up in LA, and I was a voracious newspaper reader even as a child. So I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t at least somewhat aware of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. I remember reading about Hubbard’s death in 1986, and of course I was riveted by the Los Angeles Times series by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos in 1990. I still remember the billboards the church put up around town about it.

What was it that alarmed you about Scientology?

I could tell that the LA Times had really put its reputation on the line for that series, and yet nothing seemed to happen because of it. It told me something about Scientology’s ability to keep on doing what it was doing, even though it had been so thoroughly exposed, time after time. To me, that was fascinating and unsettling. I grew up with a strong belief in the power of the press to effect change, and here it seemed so ineffectual.

What was the first piece you wrote about Scientology?

In 1995 I stumbled onto the story of Rick Ross after reading a letter to the editor he wrote to the Arizona Republic complaining about its poor coverage of the lawsuit he’d just lost. Writing for a weekly paper, that was the kind of thing you looked for — a story too complex or messy for the daily to do it justice. And Rick’s story did turn out to be very complex and rich. It was a great first story for someone developing an interest in Scientology. Rick was a deprogrammer who had been sued by a young man from a Christian group who had actually been recruited by Scientology to be a plaintiff. Scientology then used the victory in that lawsuit to bankrupt the Cult Awareness Network and then take over its assets.

It can be hard to prove that the cult is responsible for harassment, but what do you suspect Scientologists have done in the attempt to silence you?

I tend to dodge that question for the most part, Jon. But then Alex Gibney asked me for Going Clear, and well, it’s Alex Gibney. So I did admit that Scientology’s chief dirty tricks private investigator, Dave Lubow, visited my mother a couple of times asking about me, part of a “noisy investigation” that has involved a lot of my former co-workers and family members. And I told Alex that the church maintained anonymous smear websites attacking me. It goes much further, but I’m not going to give them the satisfaction to see me talking about it.

I’ve been amazed by some of your revelations these last two years. I especially remember the piece about Miscavige’s 24-year surveillance of Pat Broeker. What are the most important stories that you’ve broken about the cult?

I was very fortunate that when those two spies — Paul Marrick and Greg Arnold — decided to talk publicly about their experiences for a little over 24 hours, I had them to myself for the most part of it. The Tampa Bay Times guys got the other portion, and actually got their story out first, but my story about Marrick and Arnold is still among my favorites. As for scoops, I broke the news that Leah Remini had left Scientology in July 2013, and then a month later that she’d reported Shelly Miscavige missing to the LAPD. You heard here first that Monique Rathbun was suing David Miscavige, that the Garcias were suing Scientology, and we provided live coverage when Laura DeCrescenzo defeated Scientology’s motion for summary judgment. Other stories we’re proud of is our investigative scoop on Bob Duggan and his weird family, a shocking story of mistreatment in Arkansas, and a stunning audio recording of a woman being declared “suppressive.” Hey, and don’t forget when we nailed down exactly how tall David Miscavige is. Oh, and with the help of our researchers, we had the first look at L. Ron Hubbard’s high school grades. It’s been one revelation after another.

What decided you to write about Paulette Cooper?

She and I had corresponded occasionally for years. But then some people who knew her reached out to me in 2011 to tell me she was angry about Tom Cruise getting a humanitarian award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center. So I wrote that for the Voice, and than asked her about some of the basics of her harassment. It was after that story that I learned she didn’t really know how she’d survived the Holocaust. So we researched that together. And then I felt we had the mutual trust and material for a full book.

How difficult was it to unearth material about Scientology’s harassment of Paulette?

I called a lot of people. Some got back to me, some told me to take a hike. You work with what you can. I was fortunate that Paulette’s memories were still very fresh and always checked out against the documented record. But I really got a boost from University of Alberta professor Steve Kent, who found some really amazing documents in his collection that helped me enormously.

Was there any particular interview that stands out in your mind?

I was stunned when I got Christine Hansen on the phone. She was one of the first female agents in FBI history, and it was her hard work that cracked the Snow White case — a fact that she’d never been given credit for. I was so excited that she was actually answering my questions, I had to pause and ask her, how many times have reporters called you up to ask you about this stuff? Never, she told me. I just couldn’t believe it. It was also really meaningful to talk to people like Nan McLean, Len Zinberg, Jay Zelermyer, and Paulette’s cousin Joy Heller.

I was fascinated to find that some of those who performed various immoral and criminal acts against Paulette still feel justified. Did you find anyone who actually expressed contrition?

Really only Len Zinberg. One person I called up had been the “Cooper I/C” — the person literally in charge of the Paulette Cooper litigation — but even though he’d left Scientology years before, he angrily told me never to call him again. Another former GO operative wouldn’t talk to me until I vowed not to disagree with him that Paulette was a “bad person.” I told him I wasn’t going to disabuse him of that, all I wanted was his information.

How has it been touring the book, with Paulette?

She’s been amazing. I think she’s been champing at the bit to talk about her story after she had to keep quiet while we were working on it. So she’s making up for lost time, and I think she really deserves the accolades. It’s been such a pleasure traveling with her.

What motivates you to spend so much time maintaining the Underground Bunker?

The people who show up, morning after morning, ready to devour something they haven’t already heard about Scientology. Some of them have forgotten more than I’ll ever know about the subject, so the pressure is very real. And so I make the calls and send the emails and do my best to find something new for that ravenous audience, day in and day out. Really, it’s the reason for being a daily journalist — having an audience that’s going to consume eagerly what you write and let you hear it if you’ve disappointed them. I don’t know, I thrive on that challenge.

How do you think Scientology is faring in the US and in the world?

Well, I’m a daily reader of Mike Rinder’s blog, so I’m pretty convinced Scientology is on the verge of collapse. But until it actually does, I’m still in the front row taking notes.

What is the future for Scientology?

Litigation. Maybe prosecution. Endless and protracted and painful court fights over property — intellectual and physical — and ultimately, oblivion. Think Enron, except the Gibney documentary has already been done.

Do you believe that the IRS will ever be able to admit its mistake and reverse Scientology’s tax exemption?

The people there now include people who had nothing to do with what happened in 1991-93. On the one hand, that means they have nothing to prove, and on the other they might not really care. I think the biggest problem with the IRS is inertia. Someone has to care enough to open up a fight that will then consume the rest of their career. Who will do that? Oregon Senator Ron Wyden? I don’t know.

Do you have plans to write another book about Scientology (perhaps a biography of Jon Atack…)?

No one would believe that story, Jon. I have some ideas, and I have research going in a number of directions. For now, I need to focus on Miss Lovely and giving it the best launch I can.

 
——————–

BOOK NOTES
3D-Unbreakable
We didn’t get a chance to include photos in our book, so we’ve posted them at a dedicated page. Reader Sookie put together a complete index and we’re hosting it here on the website. Copies of the paperback version of ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ are on sale at Amazon. The Kindle edition is also available, and shipping instantly.

Our upcoming appearances (and check out the interactive map to our ongoing tour)…

 
June 23: Toronto (with Paulette Cooper) The “Getting Clear” conference

June 28: Clearwater, Florida (with Paulette Cooper) Clearwater Public Library, 2 pm, sponsored by Center for Inquiry-Tampa Bay and the Humanist Society of the Suncoast.

July 12: Washington DC, Center for Inquiry (with Paulette Cooper)

July 14: Hartford, MARK TWAIN HOUSE (with Tom Tomorrow)

July 17: Denver, The Secular Hub, 7 pm (with Chris Shelton)

July 20: Dallas, Times Ten Cellar, 7 pm (with Robert Wilonsky)

July 22: Houston, Fox and Hound, 11470 Westheimer Road, sponsored by Humanists of Houston

July 24: San Antonio

July 25: Austin

July 29: Paris (with Jonny Jacobsen)

August 4: London (with John Sweeney)

August 24: Boston, Boston Skeptics in the Pub, 7 pm

September 16: Arizona State University

 
——————–

Posted by Tony Ortega on June 23, 2015 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward

UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield

 

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  • Tory says : I love the bunkerites, I adore all of you!!

    (she has no Internet access, the poor thing!)

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Tell her we adore her right back. Thanks, Jens!

      • Showed her and Paulette the screen 🙂

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          Ahh, thank you 🙂

    • Eivol Ekdal

      Big hugs to Magoo!

    • joan nieman

      Big hugs back to her.

  • joan nieman

    I loved the question and answer statement. Yes, we do wait anxiously every day for ‘ what’s new in the Bunker’. We do appreciate all your research and reporting Tony. We really do. Thank you.

  • Matt in Atlanta

    Beast?

    F5

    • For a second I thought those were semicolons on his forehead XD

      • Matt in Atlanta

        Me thinks DM has his head up his semicolon….

        • Graham

          Or up his asterisk?

      • MarcabExpat

        They got stuck there as he was stripping them out for GAT II. Dear Leader has made great sacrifices for his flock.

        • chuckbeattyexseaorg75to03

          damned evil transcriptionists!

          • MarcabExpat

            They were totally against command intention. Or, he pulled it in. One of those.

      • Mark Foster

        Marcabian semicolons

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    Hartley Patterson has received a response from the UK’s Libel Reform Campaign about the “states rights” problem with showing Going Clear in the UK:

    As you know, neither the Scottish or Northern Irish devolved governments accepted the Defamation Act 2013 into their laws. This means parts of the population of the UK can’t benefit from the new public interest defence. It leaves loopholes in the law that vested interests can exploit. Sky Atlantic TV recently postponed airing Going Clear, a documentary on Scientology, because of fears that Sky would be sued in Northern Ireland.

    • RBE

      Both Graham and I got the same email. Graham posted about it earlier, one of the first posts on this thread. The libel law needs fixing properly, it’s all or nothing, contact your MPs.

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Gawd, my MP wants to reinstate fox hunting (I don’t need to tell you which Party) but I’ll see if I can get him onside on this. Unfortunately he already ‘knows’ me and knows how little we agree on practically every other subject 😛

        • Graham

          It looks like Sky’s reluctance to televise ‘Going Clear’ nationwide has re-invigorated the Libel Reform movement, so they are now active in trying to get NI and Scottish law brought into line with England & Wales. Scientology has its uses it would seem!

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            Now that’s really interesting news. Sorry I missed your post earlier, Graham. I saw Hartley post about it in SPs and asked him if I could cross-post to the Bunker. I should have guessed you and RBE (and probably O_B) would be on the case.

    • Robert Hammond

      Why can’t HBO just post an announcement at the beginning of the documentary telling people in Scotland and Northern Ireland not to watch it? I’m sure they would all obey that and agree not to watch, while everybody else in Great Britain got to be enlightened. Am I wrong?

  • Really, it’s the reason for being a daily journalist — having an audience that’s going to consume eagerly what you write and let you hear it if you’ve disappointed them. I don’t know, I thrive on that challenge.

    And we love seeing what you’ve produced for us every day.

    More! More! More!

  • Sebastian L. Jackson

    No live-blogging today?

    • ReallyMGM

      Some people are doing it in the comments. (And doing a damned good job! Thanks!)

      • chuckbeattyexseaorg75to03

        Betsy
        Jens
        Vaquera
        edit…
        Skies

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          And Skies 🙂

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Tony was only able to do it yesterday because he wasn’t on stage, but he and Paulette had their morning session today and are making their way back home this evening, but we are being ably assisted by Bunkerites in the audience who know how desperate we are for reports!

    • Eclipse-girl

      Tony O was on stage in the morning and is returning to the underground hideout this afternoon.

      Then he prepares for another book session in Clearwater

    • You’re spoiled!

      • Eclipse-girl

        Aren’t we all ?

      • Eclipse-girl

        Aren’t we all ?

      • Sebastian L. Jackson

        If I were there I would probably be driving Tony with a bullwhip to give me updates. I’d make a joke about wearing a white suit and sipping a mint julep, but then that would be Davey’s kind of humor, wouldn’t it?

  • Snake Plissken
  • Jeb Burton

    Just read the story by Jason Lee’s ex, same old song and dance. I don’t get why these people are shocked by being disconnected when they have been doing it themselves. They can’t believe all of their scion brother and sisters are ready to stab them in the back, of course the ex scion never acted that way. Give me a fucking break. Glad you told your story, just spare me the victim crap.

    • A bird in the chimney

      I believe there has to be some amount of “but not to me” thinking for $cis. It’s part and parcel of their “matrix of thought” including denial and the rictus grin. Also, remember when they disconnect from an ‘apostate,’ they are acting in what they see as good faith. ~Victim crap~ or not — it has to hurt when it happens to you, regardless your own past actions.

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    Thanks to Spike for sending me a copy of today’s Schedule of Events! It does appear that Carmen Llewelyn has been dropped from the line-up. See below where RBE notices a tweet from Carmen which suggests she is too unwell to travel.

    Refresh/F5

  • Alice Graves

    Wow it’s fun to hear Tony’s story finally – now I can see how he can live blog from a fascinating conference rather than sit in rapture like most mortals – writing is in his blood. I always chuckle when Mike Rinder makes incredulous remarks about Tony’s work ethic – I think it amazes him. Thanks, Tony for the incredible wealth of work and perspective you give to this cause.

  • flyonthewall

    Very cool interview, love the insights into our proprietor. This is ground zero for Sci watching and we’re very fortunate to have such a dedicated and skilled journalist at the helm. Thanks Tony, my day wouldn’t be the same w/o the The Bunker

  • Eclipse-girl

    While we are in a lunchtime lull
    please do two things.
    Make that heart turn red at the top of the comments (its at 69 now)
    and flag the fucking spammy clammy CL ads

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-Kvg78kCcvo5gL7UfPcmhmbsagTNtdj0y2LAiHVFrCU/pubhtml

  • pixie dust

    Holy Xenu! Just read Carmen’s interview at Gawker. Please, PLEASE someone get a copy of the “Elfman Empire” monthly newsletter! There’s got to be a way.

    • ReallyMGM

      OMG! Great idea!

    • Sherbet

      Yeah, that made me laugh, too. Like everyone’s Christmas Newsletter, only worse because Elfman writes it.

      • pixie dust

        I have a Godmother who did that. It was our favorite thing at holiday. We drew names to see who got to read it out loud.

        • ReallyMGM

          Everyone has someone in their life that does one, and the rest of us laugh at them.

          • Robert Hammond

            It’s like that one old fruitcake that everybody’s been passing around between families since time began.

    • ReallyMGM

      I didn’t like her before I knew she was CoS. I don’t see her talent or appeal as an actor. I still don’t know who her brother is! He is just a jerk on Twitter who tweets to Kirstie Alley.

      • pixie dust

        Only Kirstie irritates me more.

        • ReallyMGM

          Can anyone remember a movie she made other than the one about the triangle with the priest and the rabbi?

          • Robert Eckert

            I don’t remember that one. Let’s see…
            A priest, a rabbi, and a Scientologist walk into a bar, and the bartender says, “What is this, some kind of joke?”

            • ReallyMGM

              About as good as a Kennedy, NOI and a Scientologist.

      • Eclipse-girl

        Jenna Elfman has a brother?

        • ReallyMGM

          I forgot.

          • Eclipse-girl

            it is so hard to keep all the details straight.
            It is one reason why we respect Tony O so much. His details are straight.

      • Eileen

        Husband

    • Free Minds, Free Hearts

      Yes I would love to see the Elfman Empire rag!!

  • nottrue
  • Hamtaro

    A quick comment about Carmen Llewelyn and her essay on Gawker: over the last year I’ve probably read ten articles on different websites about this woman. In each case, the reports were very gossipy and did their best to make her appear unhinged. To be honest, I had all but written her off as a somewhat flaky, only semi-successful attention seeker. Which was admittedly far too easy to do because she was the ex-wife of a much more successful celebrity. Then today Gawker published her first person account.

    Well, I owe her an apology. The essay she wrote for Gawker was an excellent account of what it’s like to get dragged into Scn because you’re in love with someone already deeply into it, the elitist class structure that exists inside Scn and what happens when you decide to leave. The writing was focused, balanced and gave a fair airing of her own personal failings. The entire piece was devoid of the histrionics that previous articles about her had insisted were her stock in trade. As I read it, I thought “wouldn’t it have been nice if Nicole or Katie could have written something like this.”

    It’s too bad that health issues prevented her from traveling to Toronto. Her voice would have undoubtedly been an interesting and informative addition to the conference.

    • Eclipse-girl

      Scientology – Its always worse than you think

      I met someone, a bunker bug on Saturday, whose tale is similar.
      No one would believe that extent that any and scientologists go to to make the other appear appear deranged.

    • Ella Raitch

      Agreed Hamtaro…I do recall Tony once saying something about not covering the story because of concerns over her reliability.

  • outthere

    Watching video’s like this just break my heart. Please post this on your facebook pages. I would like everyone to see this. Thank you

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/DHbdjnTknlY?wmode=opaque

    • Eivol Ekdal

      Holy Shit!

    • One Human

      WOW!!
      Thank you so much for sharing this, these stories need more coverage.

  • RBE
    • chukicita

      Andreas <3

  • RBE
    • you’ll want to watch the video of Steven Hassan speaking to Paulette at the end of the morning session the second day. You might experience screen blurring issues – don’t worry, your computer is fine, really.

  • John P.

    Off-topic: Gawker is up just now with a story from Jason Lee’s (“My Name is Earl”) ex-wife Carmen on her 8 years as a Scientologist. Not an epic article, but an interesting one, about someone who has generally avoided a lot of criticism for his membership in the cult.

    Now back to the action in Canada, that small rural hamlet in upstate New York somewhere above Buffalo, eh.

    • outraged

      You beat me to it! It is a pretty epic article for Gawker. I rarely seen articles there that are so long.

      And it is GREAT that this article originated at Gawker. Not from somewhere else, but here on this gossip newsy blog. yes!!!!

    • Free Minds, Free Hearts

      A very good article, yes.

      • BosonStark

        Loved the article — very powerful, I thought. It was by far the best article she’s written, or even has been written about her, and probably the best written by a former “celebrity” clam. It had just the right mix of expressing what she was thinking at the time was off or peculiar about the cult, and yet her motivation to conform, go along, to maintain her relationship with Jason and network of the people who became her “faux friends” and whole world. She really described the all-consuming nature of Scientology well, and condemned it for its duplicity, deception and tactics.

        If only Katie Holmes could write something similar about her experiences. She could have Carmen help her write it.

      • Robert Eckert

        Carmen has lost the hysterical edge that some of her earlier statements about the cult had, to the injury of her credibility with those who didn’t already know how cray cray it can get.

    • Susan_Qbird_Poche

      need a taxi JohnP.?

      • chukicita

        As if our favorite capitalist mogul would ever.

    • Ben Franklin
  • skiesareblue

    Very surprising to me how many “never-ins” from the Bunker are here. Several brilliant people who have never posted. I’ve been encouraging them all to please join in and post! I feel there is a bit of ” never-in” guilt. Many feel we do not deserve to be here. I felt that way for a long time. Never ins must speak out ..there are a lot of us. Session starting, got to go.

    • Vaquera

      Such as the person sitting right behind me? Got to get them to jump on in. I think he has some insightful info to add to our conversation.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      I felt that way for ages, Skies. I remember being delighted when someone upvoted one of my comments. Never-ins are essential in this crusade. Please tell them “hello!”.

      • Newiga

        Me too! Took me a long time to find the courage to post and when I did, the Bunkerites welcomed me with warm arms/upvotes. 😉

      • Robert Eckert

        An early upvote from Tony Ortega Hisself is what got me totally hooked here. Flattery will get you everywhere.

        • Sherbet

          And upvotes from Tony are rare as hen’s teeth. Or Hubbard’s teeth.

          • Eclipse-girl

            I think I got one once, a long time ago.
            But maybe that is wishful thinking.

        • Susan_Qbird_Poche

          oh yeah man. I got one… ONCE.

          For me it was seeing how everyone talked to each other – not like other comment sections I had seen before. Ad Hom-city & stupid foul.

          • Eclipse-girl

            Tony doesn’t have a heavy hand here. He doesn’t need to.

            I like the friendship and civility that we have here, too. It surprises me sometimes.

        • Eivol Ekdal

          I got this framed…

    • joooin uussss … we’re not creepy, not at all! No Sir or Madam!!

      Ahemm.

      • Sherbet

        Speak for yourself. I’m creepy. Bwahhahaha

        • Eclipse-girl

          that green alien flying around in her space ship can just zoom and out.
          that gets creepy 😉

    • RBE

      Absolutely, as a never-in agree completely. I often tell members of my family about Scientology shenanigans and they often then go on to watch Going Clear and/or read Lawrence Wright’s book of the same name.

      • tracsar

        I had a friend who did a whole project on cults in college and I was fascinated. Then I wound up in one for about six years and realized it affected so much more than I’d thought. Found operation clambake somehow and read everything I could get my hands on. Including Paulette’s article on her experience. Decided once I would look at a Scientology based book in the library to get an idea of the ‘other side’ and couldn’t stop laughing while being so shocked at how little intelligence he assumed people to have. I didn’t know the Bunker existed though- used to get frustrated by how OC wouldn’t get new stories as often as i’d liked. Took a lot longer to piece things together.. and it’s nice to know I’m not alone in my weird obsessiveness. I’ve since noticed a lot of similarities to my former cult leader and wonder if she studied LRH at some point outright or if she just preferred the mind control power hungry stuff.

    • SarahDB

      As a never-in I think we can contribute some perspective, some compassion, and ceak.

      • Sherbet

        I do avoid the exes’ boards, though. While I might take a look once in a blue moon, I don’t post there. I don’t feel I’ve paid the dues. Same with Mike Rinder’s blog. I’m content to read his posts and comments but never add my opinion. Being an ex does give perspective that a never-in doesn’t have.

        • chuckbeattyexseaorg75to03

          Just so you know, I as an ex, loved being raked over the coals particularly by the younger generation anonymous, and then having the older never-ins plead leniency.

          Older generation never – ins give ex’s sort of the tolerant view of the world, while the younger never-ins just summarize your ex views to shreds hilariously and brutally.

          • Sherbet

            Ha! The condemnation followed by forgiveness appeals to your sense of needing to atone for your years as a scientologist, perhaps? Dr. Sherb, Junior Psychologist, comes up with a hypothesis worthy of lrh.

            • chuckbeattyexseaorg75to03

              Good cop bad cop symetry sympathy after the scathing putdown.

            • Sherbet

              Did you ever expect to find acceptance, forgiveness, and FUN after leaving the church? Yet you did, and so many others have that great smile that comes with the relief of no longer being afraid.

            • chuckbeattyexseaorg75to03

              Dupes lament is standard tech future if you raise your hand and admit you were a full bore lifetime career staffer of Scientology’s brainwashing cult!

            • Sherbet

              Dupes Lament is a great name for a rock band.

            • chuckbeattyexseaorg75to03

              yes, since you pick up that the outside world accepts and appreciates whistleblowers, I read the OSA passarounds (bad press) when I was ASI staff, read of the Aznarans, Vaughn and Stacie and Jesse and Dennis Erlich and Arnie Lerma and Gerry Armstrong, so I knew there was a lot of outside world acceptance of the ex members willing to detail the truth.

          • aquaclara

            You’ve done some educating of the younger gen anons along the way, too, Chuck. If it starts as anger, and then they learn….well, we have seen some great anon work come from that.
            The patience you showed was a remarkably good investment.

        • chukicita

          I feel the same way about exes’ boards. Sometimes I think never-ins form images of what a “scientologist” is, without ever really talking to any current or former members.
          To me that is similar to how non-Native folks form an image of what an “Indian” is — when their only real experience is a Hollywood myth and they’ve never even been to a rez.

          They’re just people.

          • Susan_Qbird_Poche

            Agree wholeheartedly chuckicita.
            I listen very closely to what the ex-scn. folks say.
            For a whole year I just listened & tried to determine who was in & who was out. There was a 4th of July Independence Day post Tony made wherein he asked, how’d you get to the Bunker? (Kind of like what John Atack asked TO today.) It was a wonderful way of getting to know the regulars – who’s who & what’s what.
            Accurate information is key to understanding anything.

        • SarahDB

          I post a little on Mike’s blog, but only if I feel it moves the conversation forward. I don’t comment elsewhere but I do read a lot!

          • Sherbet

            He’s so funny and sarcastic, and his commenters tend to be the same.

          • chuckbeattyexseaorg75to03

            I like Mike, but Xenu and BTs are a cat out of the bag and fact of life in the SP world.

            One thing never ins quite can’t get, is how difficult the confidential Xenu/BTs info has power, almost like garlic has it’s fictional power over Vampires.

            The 1990s exposure widely of the OT 3 Xenu engram story, and BTs, is a big deal and should hopefully by constant mention become as fictionally innocuous as never-ins scratch their heads about how innocuous but typically “religion” wild story wierd it appears to never ins.

            OT 3 Xenu engram/BTs are a nugget of false indoctrination, always a hump for the lower level newbie ex’s and on-the-fence beginner Scientologists to learn of and digest what the secret OT levels 3, 4, 5 6 and 7 are all about—exorcism of Xenu’s implanted body thetans!

        • Eclipse-girl

          I will post sometimes at Mike’s place. i do not do it often. Mike appears to be nice, and does want a place were exes can have a soft landing, and most of the recently escaped need that

          • Sherbet

            Yes, I think he’s genuinely a nice person.

            • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

              I can confirm he is a genuinely nice person. He has always been very kind to me and has always been happy to answer questions I had. Now, I’ve never asked him anything personal, and I wouldn’t, but general questions/wonderings that I had, he is/was always very gracious.

            • Sherbet

              I didn’t know you two were buddy-buddy.

            • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

              LOL Not even close. I have however emailed him, tweeted him etc when I found things I didn’t understand and he was happy to answer my questions and was always very nice and very informative. I also think they way he works his snark into his posts is hilarious.

              Someone said it earlier, “a daily kick to DM’s balls”, I agree with that. 😀

            • Sherbet

              With steel-toed shoes!

            • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

              Oooo yes. Or pointed toe heels. Ouch. 🙂

            • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

              Oh, you’re talking about Mike. LOL I drifted off into my fantasy of nailing that little twat right in the stones. 😀

      • Observer

        And moral support. I’ve seen a number of exes express astonishment that people who have ever been in are interested and working to expose the truth about Ron’s Abomination.

        • Graham

          And of course, many of us ‘never-ins’ have been in other cults or other abusive relationships, or have been alongside those who have. Hence our understanding, empathy, concern and anger.

          • Robert Eckert

            When I found Tony at VV, I was getting over a weird experience of living in a nudist camp full of wonderful people but run by a total psychopath– she’s finally facing criminal charges and a reporter has interviewed me at length about my own drama with her.

    • Dutch Girl

      Also me, never-in but totally a Bunkerite

    • Eivol Ekdal

      Never-in, got interested in the tacky aliens, stayed for the lovely humans.

      • Sherbet

        I was interested for years, and even posted a couple of times in the VV, although I don’t remember under what name. Scientology struck me as odd and weird, but I didn’t know the half of it. I never suspected its dark side. Then I read about Paulette Cooper, and I was hooked. But it was Katie Holmes’s stealth divorce that planted me firmly in the VV and then the Bunker.

        • Susan_Qbird_Poche

          for me it was just googling Tom Cruise Medal ~ and that damn video of the presentation & the salute – and TC talk’ smack – WTF is he saying?!
          “putting ethics in ruthlessly” SP/PTS weird forced laughing

          And for some reason, I kept ending up @ the VV and following links.

          • Sherbet

            Yeah, Tom’s guffaws and WHOOSHes put me over the edge. Yep. He’s nuts. Scientology is nuts. Tell me more.

          • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

            I found that in combo with the John Sweeney doc after I found the Lisa McPherson story. The combination of sheer rage over Lisa and the batshit crazy of the entire “Freedom Medal” ceremony plummeted me down the rabbit hole. 🙂

          • thetastic

            I was in Barnes and noble impulse shopping and came across Going Clear on a display table. That was it. I was hooked, and it’s been the bunker every night for me since then.

            • Susan_Qbird_Poche

              That’s so cool thetastic… to begin a study with such a cohesive, well researched, well written, good book. I love reading. Wright, right up there with Atack & Miller (you must read these too, imo).
              And all of the exe’s books are really interesting, btw. Brings something home to you, listening in. Sometimes these for real folks post here, live & in person!
              This never fails to amaze me. A fine good thing it is.
              Make’s a person really think hard on what it is you believe & why, huh?
              The Bunker supplies a forum to discuss such matters (subject specific to Scn. Inc. of course).
              Cheers bunker buddy. Q

            • thetastic

              Thank you! Yes, I feel lucky that Wright’s book was my foundation. The library I’ve amassed since then is kinda ridiculous for what’s a less than 3 year period! I have Atack, Miller, Reitman, Corydon, Headley, Miscavige-Hill, Scobee, Many, and whoever else’s I am forgetting, along with Margaret Singer, Steve Hassan’s new update and that fanatastic book on Anonymous by Gabriela…..shoot, I forget her last name. Anyway, Tony recommended it, and that was good enough for me.
              Probably a good portion of why I am so obsessed with the underbelly of Scientology is that it’s a great subject to get into if you are a reader!

            • Susan_Qbird_Poche

              Whoa – well, I must say, you be well read on this subject now, thetastic. Holy moly! I googled Gabriella Coleman’s book – Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy. That one will have to go on my must read list. c ya ’round.

        • aquaclara

          I was in awe of you at VV. And PI, and SugarPlum Fairy, and where the hell is she today, by the way?, and John P, of course.
          I lurked for a good long while.

          • Sherbet

            ‘fairy was here briefly today I think. PI almost never posts, which is a shame. John P — he made me laugh and also feel accepted.

            You were in awe of me? Wow. I’ll take that compliment. I’m just a beyond-middle-aged gal with a big mouth, but thank you.

            • aquaclara

              I saw PI in NY at the book event, and she has some good news about things going on now. I’ll let her share. But she’s been busy!
              And I’ve extended the definition of “middle” in age-related terms, which I will quite happily share.
              We will have an East Coast reunion one of these days…Or we’ll get you to the next NY one…!

            • Sherbet

              I shouldn’t admit my age, but I will. If I were truly middle-aged, it would mean I was going to live to 130. Do the math. But I’m spritely! Young at heart! I use Miss Clairol!

            • aquaclara

              That’s still middle. (My grandmother lied about her age all the time, so I think it’s genetic. A gift, I say).

            • SarahDB

              Only our hairdressers know for sure!

            • Sherbet

              Except I just admitted it. Oops!

            • SarahDB

              Ok I’ll join you…would be mostly gray if not for my regular visits to said hairdresser! (used to be a brunette :D)

            • sugarplumfairy

              I’m not far behind you, Sherb.. I’ve told my coming into sci-watching story many times, but I always lied about the timing, because I didn’t want anyone from co$ to be able to identify the bf I was talking about.. And as far as I know, he’s still in some thirty-odd years later.. But I am close to being right there with you..

            • Davka

              Of good New England stock 🙂

          • sugarplumfairy

            I’m here.. I met PI in NYC at the movie premier and again at the book event.. She’s freaking gorgeous and so intelligent and professional and really busy with her books and movies.. John P too.. It was like meeting one of my superheroes.. So handsome and so kind and friendly.. And the supermodels!!! But the high point was meeting Aqua.. She’s a sweetie and a half.. Juicer too.. I loved Juicer, cause I never had to say another word once I met her.. She is a talker and a half.. And so much fun..

            Thank you so much for including me in that group, Aqua.. You made my day..

            • Juicer77

              (reminds self not to be so mouthy next time 🙂 AquaClara and THDNE really took me under their wing by inviting me to attend the Going Clear premiere. Aqua is a sweetie and we had a FAB time in NYC! I was beyond thrilled to meet so many Bunkeroos in person, including Our Proprietor!
              I’m all for an East Coast get together – maybe when Theroux’s movie comes out, or Mark Bunker’s project gets launched?

            • sugarplumfairy

              Noooooooooo! I love you just the way you are! You are soooo much fun.. Your enthusiasm is absolutely contagious and you energize any space you occupy! I aspire to be you!

            • Juicer77

              LOL. I aspire to be more dignified. Shall we meet in the middle?

            • aquaclara

              Isn’t PI so cool and together?! And you! You are the best…We need a get-together! will send a note via Juicer!

            • Davka

              I remember when you actually replied to one of my comments early on – squee!! I’m just an occasional de-lurker, so it was very exciting!

            • sugarplumfairy

              When you do comment, it’s always worth reading.. I try to make sure I don’t miss any of yours.. But it gets harder to keep up here every day..

            • Davka

              Oh my gosh, thank you for the compliment! I definitely can’t keep up! And “real life” is so damn busy that I scarcely have time to read even a third of the comments…..between Mr. D, little miss, the full time job and who the heck knows what else, this takes a back seat…..but at least I read every day, and catch you all when I can!!!

          • Eileen

            PI?

            • Sherbet

              Poison Ivy

            • aquaclara

              Poison Ivy! 🙂

            • Eileen

              Right!!! Thanks.

        • Alice Graves

          My experience was very similar. I was absolutely flabbergasted by what happened to Paulette Cooper, and by the spectacle of Katie Holmes having to secretly plan her escape from her own life – that simply floored me. I’ve been a Bunker addict since plus other sites. Now I’m mostly driven by an overwhelming desire to see small men crushed under the weight of their Big Being egos.

        • L. Wrong Hubturd

          Katie for me too, Sherb. That’s when I found the VV. Had just been on the curious fringe prior, but fully fell down the hole with Tony at the Voice.

    • aquaclara

      I don’t have “never-in” guilt. I have “never-in” anger. Full-out, utterly pissed off anger that has raged on since 1975 or 1976.

      It’s directed at Hubbard (but now he’s dead, so my postulating must have worked), and at Miscavige, who is a captive in his own wee little moldy world of Scotch- and delirium-infused viciousness. I try to contain it to the occasional rant, many cheers (often at 7 am Eastern Standard Time), obsessive reading, and our usual bits of letters, protests and projects.

      To balance this out, I love hearing exes re-emerge into the world and take down the secrets, brick by brick.

      I tap dance seeing exes heal and grow, share true stories, write articles and books, and in turn, welcome others to a new life with outstretched arms and big grins of happiness.

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

        ^^^This. Same way I feel. Thanks Aqua. Couldn’t have said it better.

      • Simi Valley

        I may have a story for June 28th, which will be the 3rd anniversary of my escape from the cult.

        • aquaclara

          do tell! just a wee hint!

    • Robert Hammond

      Never in here too. But have been involved in new age self help bs and other kinds of mental slavery. Shining the light of truth in dark places is a cause worth speaking out for.

      • Observer

        I just got a work email from a Robert Hammond and did a huge double-take!

        • Robert Hammond

          Unless you work in a university, Silicon Valley startup, or Hollywood studio it might have been someone else. There are a few of us. All very different. Kind of like Orphan Black.

    • I have heard this phrase “never-in guilt” before. Could someone delineate exactly what we are supposed to be feeling guilty about? I need specifics because I don’t see what’s wrong with being interested in something interesting. Is it because some exes feel embarrassed or that we are perceived as hobbyists not actually crippled by this EXACT abusive thing? Everyone alive has been through shit. We can all related to pain. We are all humans here. There’s no such thing as a homo novus. Why shouldn’t we be here? Why wouldn’t you want as many people on your side of an injustice as possible?

    • pluvo

      I’m an ex and was lurking here for months before I ‘dared’ to comment. I love the stories of never-ins and how they got interested and ended up here on the Underground Bunker. What matters is the attitude towards the cult’s abuses and scam – exes and never-ins are complementing each other.
      I’m always impressed how much “never-ins” know about Scn, and I often don’t know who is an ex and who a never-in. I was really cracking up when a never-in explained recently on Rinder’s blog the meaning of a Scn acronym to an ex, Tory after all (I also didn’t know ).
      Anonymouse achieved so much and was a force which gave the earlier critics/whistle blowers backup. This surge got joined by more and more and the Scio-watching and exposure is in full swing. The contributions to put the spot light on the cult, from the commenter to the top whistle blowers, are aligned.
      One of the weak spots of the ‘Church of Scientology’- of the ‘experts of communication’ who are suppressing free communication (so much for Hubbard’s “communication is the universal solvent”) – is … free communication.

      Edit – PS:
      If the “Church of Scientology” wouldn’t sensor and suppress free speech (and with it enforce the abusive disconnection), the whole ‘Church’/scam would collapse like a house of cards.
      With all their laughingly called ‘Humanitarians’ and ‘humanitarian’ activities, they are in direct violation of “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, denying their members these rights.

      Article 19.• Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

      • pluvo

        PPS: When I got out of the cult I had to re-learn to express my opinion. I had suppressed so much to tell what is on my mind because of the Orwellian thought-stopping and censoring and self-censoring.
        When starting to comment on the ‘fringe’ blogs, I had all kinds of weird mental and physical phenomena, often having regrets that I had commented at all.

    • StudentOfLife

      As a never-in I was interested by my sister’s comments about how the town she lived in (Clearwater) was taken over by Scientologists who when I visited Clearwater we noticed all the colored shirts and pants with large sets of keys having down from their belts (both men and women) as they moved from building to building. My sister said they were “Stepford Wives” in their social appearances. In 2003, the Ft Harrison complex still had a lot of people moving about when I decided to invest in a celeb’s sports venture which was very successfull for years at first. I observed recently the Ft Harrison area is nearly a ghost town as several on here have pointed out. But watching this drama of a takedown of an evil syndicate is fascinating, not just because I learned how I and others were victims of being associated with a celeb who the cult now is casting aside now that they have bilked him of his last dollar, but it’s like watching the soap opera version of the Godfather saga. In addition to great humor, I also gain great wisdom from those sharing their journey, both of those who learn to critically think for themselves and from never ins who share their own wisdom and insight as to why they didn’t buy it. I avoided religion, but I tolerated this criminal syndicate to the point by just trusting a Scientologist in business, I lost my retirement and was nearly homeless a year ago before I picked myself back up and started over. The Bunker for me has been therapy in life, as well as my other recovery program have made it likely I will be finally visiting Europe and doing all the wonderful things for my two college age children I always wanted to do, though it will be later than I planned.

      I attended the Santa Barbara Humanist Society gathering Sunday for the Summer Stolstice…these were people who sponsored the first Cooper/Ortega meeting. I can say their interest in taking down Scientology was very high and several are now lurkers in the Bunker and they asked me to email everyone (they have nearly 200 members) the IRS petition and put together some info given it was universally acclaimed as one of the most interesting meetings they had every sponsored and they have some pretty famous authors and TED speakers come speak there. These were secular humanists and intellectuals but most had no real idea how evil Scientology really was. They told me they now understood how Scilons got away with so much evil for so long given they had the “spy and blackmail wings” operating behind the scenes to ensure no journalist ever tried to take them on and why they could easily buy off congressman and authorities before the internet age especially. They also observed that the org in Santa Barbara was pretty much vacant except for staff.

      • Pierrot

        Thank you for offering to help, right now the important think is to click prohibited on co$ ads. you will find list of URL for the ads in our spread sheets, you will also find some tips.
        What else could be done is to complain to CL about spamming and overposting , the procedure is described in the tips.

    • Ella Raitch

      Without demand for the work there is no Bunker…never ins are an important part of getting this story into the mainstream and public/political consciousness

    • thetastic

      Thank you for this. I do feel a little awkward posting as a never-in sometimes, but you all feel like family, so I try to push down my shyness and jump in here and there.

      • skiesareblue

        Never-ins are important too. Soon there will be more and more of us. Strength in numbers. Stick around, and post. (Can you tell I’m pumped?)

  • Eileen

    Tony is a never in. Didn’t stop him from contributing.

    • Observer

      And how!

    • Eclipse-girl

      He could have walked away many times, but he didn’t

      He chose to blog about scientology when he was encouraging his staff to blog daily.

      He chose to start the bunker (with encouragement from others) when he could have been silent when writing this book.

      Tony – a man with a great deal of personal integrity, and a damn good journalist

      • Sherbet

        Do you think he’s going to find it hard to extricate himself from the Bunker, with all of us clinging to him like BTs dipped in Gorilla Glue?

        • A bird in the chimney

          WHEN $ci comes to an end and The Bunker isn’t a daily news source about $ci anymore, we’ll have to beg for daily posts to continue. Tony picks a random topic for our launch pad, adds cute cat pictures, and then we carry on per usual in the comments.

          • Sherbet

            And shoops. We must have shoops.

            • A bird in the chimney

              Always shoops!

            • Eclipse-girl

              I want Books of shops.
              Obs’ Ron series deserve to be on coffee table book.
              Mark’s Words from a Windbag is another collection
              I want Sunny Sands CW tent series in a third

        • Eclipse-girl

          I think the end of the bunker could occur with a grand party – planned 6 to 8 weeks in advance to give people time to set up travel plans.

          It could be to celebrate a future RICO case that dismembers the hydra head of church of scientology and takes gobs and gobs of their cash horde away.

          • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

            Uncle RICO!! Love that guy. 🙂

  • “Basketball Jane” is on now, together with Spanky Taylor and Nancy Many. Yayy!!

    • chuckbeattyexseaorg75to03

      Nora was a remarkable young woman on the PAC RPF when I was there, she’s a powerhouse speaker!

      There’s also a recent radio interview of her, 1 and 1/2 hour long, straight Nora, she’s incredible!

      Nora’s kind of like Marc Headley in straight between your eyes clarity and telling it like it is.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afc_fPva0Os

      • FollowTheMoney

        Any idea of where we might be able to listen to that radio interview?

        • chuckbeattyexseaorg75to03

          Nora Crest
          above

          • FollowTheMoney

            Thanks ChuckB.

  • A bird in the chimney

    I’m digging the synergy of Carmen’s Gawker essay prominently featuring Jon and his wonderful work and book, and its publishing date coinciding with the conference in Toronto. Perfect timing for those curious who go a-googling about Jon, et al.

  • mikecrosby

    It’s amazing to me Tony to read this blog and more pieces get tied together. In a way it’s got to be so satisfying to pursue something so important that adds value to people’s lives. You’ve really become a hero to me, I’m glad I saw you at the OC CFI, I look forward to introducing myself to you.

  • nottrue

    …Good for Carmen. Alot of
    great comments

  • Observer

    Meanwhile, in Kirstie Alley Land:

    Refresh

    • Newiga

      *sigh* The bigotry card as been drawn… again…

      • FollowTheMoney

        I love that card. I think critics should rejoice when that card is used – it opens up a lot of doors with which to come back at them.

        • Robert Hammond

          It’s kind of like the Joker.

    • Sherbet

      Kirstie’s gonna wear out the word “bigotry.” I suggest she try another one on occasion to give it a rest.

    • salin

      “speaking from your mouth”… lol as opposed to speaking from your…. She apparently has to specify which.

      • Observer

        I like how the has-been actress is attacking an ACTUAL MEDICAL DOCTOR for telling ACTUAL PROVEN MEDICAL TRUTH.

        • Newiga

          Exactly! Unfortunately in Bizarotology, medical doctors are subhuman and inferior to Oatees like Krusty.

        • salin

          and not sure what she even means “subject have no relationship” (sic) ???

        • Robert Hammond

          Yea. New definitions of medicine and science. From now on they shall be known as bigotry and intolerance.

        • sugarplumfairy

          Lol.. But she’s a clear, right? Unless they’re broke and they’ve revoked it this week.. Clear outweighs 8 years of medical training.. It’s all that staring and bull-baiting.. It makes you really smart.. Yah, that’s the ticket..

          • Observer

            She’ll have you know she’s an OT VII!

            • sugarplumfairy

              How scary is that? All that cash for naught..

        • Jack99

          She made a film with Dr Spock once! No, wait, that was just Spock. But still…

  • AtCOS

    I see the Whole track Psychs are at it Again! Trying to ripe apart the only men and organization that even attempts to help people. GOOD LUCK! Ever see a Scientologist with a smoking problem or asthma? Of course not. Unless they’re whole track psych operatives taking telepathic commands from high up on mount pyrenees. Being relied from the back side of the moon which is just a rely station for the 6th invader force! Observe, how Tony discredits the “Phoenix Lights,” because he doesn’t want people to know the TRUTH! That Whole Track Psychs are running everything. Why do many UFO believers have or develop histories of mental illness. Because the Whole Track Psychs need to discredit them and key in their whole track implants. Luckily David Miscavige through using a hidden Ultra Mark VIII inside the case of Super Mark VII at flag and int has been able to spot and Identify 95% of all Whole Track Psychs operating in Scientology to sabotage it from within. This conference is the death shrill of the anti-Scientology movement. Greta Von Sustrian working closely with GOP presidential candidates combined with the Clintons on DNC side are guarantee a BRIGHT FUTURE for Scientology and thus all of Humanity. Soon being an SP will be illegal!!! Illegal, I tells you. That’s why Jon Atack plans to go into hiding he see the light and like the cockroach he is. He’s scurrying under the nearest refrigerator. 64x won’t even be an order of magnitude in the review mirror of our Massive Expansion which we are on precipice of.

    • A bird in the chimney

      Howdy says hi. ETA: I prob replied too hastily. I’m working so hard to keep up with everything posted I fell behind. 😉

      • Sherbet

        Howdy says, “Please use your sarcasm indicators, AtCOS.” I think!

        • A bird in the chimney

          Could well be! I just wasn’t sure, lol. Perhaps Howdy is shaking his head at me right now. ;D

          • Sherbet

            I’m still not sure, based on his last post.

            • Eclipse-girl

              nor am I.

              If it was sarcasm, the last bit on Jon wasn’t necessary

            • Sherbet

              It’s all very strange. The poor grammar and spelling remind me of Marco, unfortunately. I think I’ll employ ignore tech.

            • A bird in the chimney

              Ignore tech engage! Good call.

            • MaxSpaceman

              it’s an ESL commenter for sure

            • MaxSpaceman

              Regardless whether it’s fine sarcasm or not, the Jon comment alone places the comment and the commenter in the–

              Fuckwit Dipshit Div.

      • Eclipse-girl

        If the writer had been OTVIII , or not included the last attack on Jon Atack I would have said this was satire

        • Sherbet

          Honest? Jeez.

          • Eclipse-girl

            I didn’t say good satire, like OTVII.
            It is just so over the top.
            Its hard not to giggle

        • Observer

          I’m still not sure it isn’t.

          • Sherbet

            I’m gonna go with sarcasm.

            • salin

              The its “illegal!!! illegal! I tells you” – makes me lean towards sarcasm.

            • Susan_Qbird_Poche

              expanding expanding ~ Massive LOL.

            • Richard Grant

              Yeah, I think so too. This one is a little too far over the top. Dave Miscavige and his secret Mark Ultra whatever thwarting the alien invaders.

          • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

            I’m laughing so hard at “Whole Track Psychs” that I can’t read the rest. LOL 😀

      • Eclipse-girl

        I think your first reply was fine.

        No one is exactly sure.

        • A bird in the chimney

          Thanks. 🙂 I try not to misuse ^ that comment I reserve especially for trolls. It’s a special thing, you know.

    • chuckbeattyexseaorg75to03

      Were you Captain Bill last life?

      Some of your pc folders are at the Flag pc folder giant warehouse, some are over in Ron’s Org EU, for your info.

    • RBE
      • Observer

        “Cat poop” is a reference to civet cat poop coffee, which is a real and extremely expensive thing.

        F6

      • aquaclara

        Even Penske is sending them messages.
        Go! Go! Go!

    • Jimmy3

      What is your favorite Pokemon?

    • Susan_Qbird_Poche

      nom nom nom – so much radiance, delight, joy & kindness in your post. Thank you!
      HOWDY! from birds of a feather ~

    • sugarplumfairy

      I saw a UFO once.. It was V-shaped and looked cool.. Then I got home and described it to my cop dad, who reminded me we lived less than 50 miles from Dover Air force base which was involved routinely with testing new rides.. Debunkers suck..

    • sugarplumfairy

      Btw, Do you have a smarter brother named OT8isGreat?

    • This is joke, no? It is exceedingly well done *applauds*

      • Jimmy3

        How did the Poe-ish firing squad die?

        They lined up in a circle.

        • Sherbet

          Oh, groan.

          • Jimmy3

            I know. They were not trained properly.

            • Sherbet

              No, they were not. Hey, an imposter was here a while ago, using your avatar and wearing your shoes.

            • Jimmy3

              That’s okay. Sharing promotes radiance delight joy kindness within the bunker.

    • Eivol Ekdal

      cool story bro

    • Juicer77

      Run on sentence much?
      Also, “….of which we are on the precipice.” Just sayin’.

    • Eileen

      Jimmy 3?

      • Jimmy3

        No, that’s not me

    • Lucille Austero

      I guess there really is life on other planets.

  • Jon : I interviewed John McMasters and later talked to another early “Clear”and the fact popped up that out of the first ten proper “clears,” seven were gay.

    Jon was asked why he thought that was? Jon : Could be because they were easier to control?

    • chuckbeattyexseaorg75to03

      the transcendence smorgeboard shopping zeitgeist some were driven to pursue

  • Vaquera

    “If you ever want to get out of jury duty, just say you’re a Scientologist.”
    -Nora Crest

    • ReallyMGM

      I absolutely adore that!

      • Vaquera

        So did the crowd. 🙂

    • Susan black

      Do you thInk this would really work? I need to know soon!

      • Vaquera

        That’s the impression I got.

      • Eclipse-girl

        I am going to be the responsible person here and say it is a part of civic your city to participate.

        I did as a young thing and came in wearing not the nicest apparel.
        I still knew too much about chemistry to be on a jury for drunk driving.

        If you were on trial, what kind of people would you want to sit in judgement?
        I would want educated people.

        • ReallyMGM

          I know, and I have done my duty three times. (criminal and civil court) The worst part about it is city parking.

          • Eclipse-girl

            Wow. I have only been called once at that was more than 24 yrs ago

        • Susan black

          I agree that we should all suck it up and do our jury duty. i once spent a week on a jury. I have before me a jury summons form that I must fill out and return right away. I have a valid reason for requesting a postponement, but I thought it would be more fun to just fill in “scientologist” 🙂

          • Eclipse-girl

            You could try it out and report back to us, but I believe you need to fill those things out honestly – under penalty of law.

          • chuckbeattyexseaorg75to03

            I was on a complicated 3 plaintiff trial, our jury resolved the case, I just felt my fellow jurors were frankly closet racists and was in the minority against them, only me and a hippie thought the victim was legit, funnily. The other 10 jurors were against the victim, and they couldn’t see through the tactics of the State Farm bitch lawyer I thought.—I vowed NEVER to buy State Farm insurance for the rest of my life due to their lawyering.

        • ReallyMGM

          My best friend had to fill out a pre-trial form for a high profile trial. It asked what news programs she watched on a regular basis. She answered “The Daily Show.” She was excused.

          • Eclipse-girl

            It is important to be honest on those questionnaires

        • Always Amazed

          Sing it sustah!

          I would love to serve on a jury, I have always been taking care of Spec needs child and had to appeal. Mr A has served several times…he says I would never be picked for a jury. I am too opinionated….hrumph. 😛 I would want someone like me on my jury. I am someone with an obvious moral compass. 😀

      • Jimmy3

        Tell them you may find it difficult to consider all the evidence, because you often go exterior at random times. When they ask you what exterior means, stare up at the ceiling for a minute or two and don’t move or say a word. You will be dismissed on the spot.

    • Robert Hammond

      Ooh. I just got a notice for jury duty, but I don’t think I could sink that low as to say something like that.

    • AtCOS

      It’s only because a lawyer knows for a fact that Scientologists can spot a liar a mil away and they know the real SP is always hidden!

      • Susan_Qbird_Poche

        because…. um… it takes one to know one?

      • salin

        Ironic claim in a performance art-sort of way.

    • chuckbeattyexseaorg75to03

      I was on a jury, and funnily, I can see why lawyers would NOT want us on them.

      I was like the minority member who I have to admit was out of agreement with ALL of the others, just me and an aging hippie, we two were the only two who agreed. The other 10 jurors felt we were wacked, and I didn’t even say, of course, I was a Scientologist.

      Oh well, the hidden damage we ex’s don’t even see.

  • Jim Beverly asking the Spanky, Nancy, Nora and Jon panel : Is there any indication that the celebrities like John Travolta and Tom Cruise know of the atrocities that the Sea Org staff suffer? Like the RPF?

    Nora : While John never gets to go around at Gold Base and mingle (JT is always surrounded), Tom Cruise is allowed to roam as he likes. When TC visits Gold Base, all base staffers are told to be bright, cheerful, call him Sir, and so on.

    Jim : But there is no evidence that TC knows about the RPF?

    Nora : no, the RPF is kept from them.

    Spanky : John Travolta absolutely knows about the RPF, because he knew that Spanky being on the RPF was why she wasn’t there to meet him. And when John Travolta did the PTS/SP course he was told that this was to help him recognise people like Spanky.

    • Eclipse-girl

      I am going to interject here.

      I had a conversation with a bunker member, an ex, about a year or so ago.
      That person claimed to be on the RPF with Tom’s niece who had POed her uncle and she was sent to the RPF as punishment.

      I know that it is a rumor, but it sounds like Tom would do that.

      • outraged

        If this is true, the media would eat this story up. The niece, how old?, does something to annoy her uncle so TC sends her to scrub floors with a toothbrush. That’s disgusting. So medieval. More and more I get the impression that Cruise is an insufferable self-focused dick in Crest clothing.

        • Eclipse-girl

          As stated I was told the details with no way to verify this.

          Tom or someone caught the niece (a teenager) kissing (making out with) her boyfriend on the grounds of the gated estate. (Tom’s estate)
          It sounds very innocent.
          But then again – we have no idea what demands are put on those who live in his enoturage
          Supposedly she was out 2 – D in Tom’s eye and was sent to the RPF for about 6 months.

          Think of how (and this has been verified) the Duggans got rid of their troublesome children with the help of scientology

          With the caveat that it is always worse than you think, it is plausible to me.

          But I repeat this is rumor and has not been verified by any other source.

          • Observer

            It does sound right around the Tom “Out 2D” Cruise level of hypocrisy though.

          • Jimmy3

            I heard he gave her a blue ray copy of Oblivion as she was being sent away. So it wasn’t all bad.

            • ReallyMGM

              Extra punishment.

        • Alice Graves

          You won’t get any disagreement here – truly he is a dick.

      • Isn’t it great how this question came up?

      • Ella Raitch

        There was a story that a niece got into a Cruise ethics’ situation after she was caught snogging a boy – eta…just got to your comment below

        • Eclipse-girl

          do you have a source other than comments here?

          • Ella Raitch

            I can’t find anything now, but whatever I read included he mention of ‘ethics’ so it must have been a Scientology related site.

            • Eclipse-girl

              I just want to make sure it was not reading the conversation that I had with a commenter here.

              If we are using the source , it is not verification of the story 😉

            • Ella Raitch

              I don’t think so, but memories are tricky things

            • Eclipse-girl

              Don’t I know it. 😉

  • Vaquera

    And it’s break time. 30 minutes.

  • Eclipse-girl

    Mid afternoon reminder time

    Click on the heart at the top of the comments
    Flag these CL ads.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-Kvg78kCcvo5gL7UfPcmhmbsagTNtdj0y2LAiHVFrCU/pubhtml

    Then get ready for an afternoon session

  • Susan_Qbird_Poche

    Well, Yay! The Bunker is alive and on fire ~ so is the night sky for the last 2 evenings… tonight too. So remember to keep looking up! Especially the folks in CA. Photo from last night.

    47.7492° N, 90.3331° W

    • Eclipse-girl

      so beautiful.

      I may have to visit you sometime
      It is an event I would love to experience.

      • Susan_Qbird_Poche

        see the forecast E-girl – solar blast striking Earth.

        • Eclipse-girl

          I read about the storm.

          My city isn’t even that close to the red area. It is a few hundred miles away.
          But I know that it is right over where you live.
          How very cool.

    • Always Amazed

      Even in CA you say? absolutely stunning…thank you for sharing.

      • Susan_Qbird_Poche

        now lookee @ this AA – The Northern Lights move! I tells ya!

        I watched this vid muted the 1st time I watched it. Glad I did.

        For me, when I see the lights, I am awestruck & get real hushed quiet.

        Not so the peeps taking this vid… lol.

        http://youtu.be/b973ZoExUIQ

        Eclipse-girl – this is in real-time, not time-lapse.

        eta: yeah Donna, you know.

    • Cedilla

      “The Bunker is alive and on fire ~ so is the night sky for the last 2 evenings… tonight too”

      A connection to today’s post re: Tony’s wonderful 1997 article about Robert Burnham, Jr.

  • Vaquera

    I will take this moment during the break to let you guys know that there is a percentage of me so jealous that I have not been reading and commenting with my Bunker pals over the past two days. So many sage comments and clever J&D to catch up on when I get home on Friday. I feel like I’m missing a great party in the Bunker.

    • MaxSpaceman

      huh? you there we here. Everybody here wants to be there. And you wanna be here. :-/

      • Vaquera

        I know, but I’m still feeling Bunker comment withdrawal.

        • MaxSpaceman

          🙂

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      We’re extremely glad you’re not here, Vaquera! Your updates have kept us going. But I do know what you mean; there’s something wonderful about being at the Bunker on important days 🙂

    • Dibythesea

      This is crazy talk Vaquera! You are meeting everyone we would all like to meet and we are living vicariously through you! Now keep having fun! 😉

    • Eclipse-girl

      EVERYONE is so jealous of you , skies and all the other bunker bugs in attendance.

      We are just a peanut gallery that can’t be hushed into silence.

  • Vaquera

    This afternoon’s agenda:
    “The Religion Angle” Q&A with Christian Szurko and Jim Brennan
    3:30-4:30

  • Idkhtcbaot (I don’t know how this could be anymore off topic): But are there any chemistry majors in the house? If so what’s the best way to get highlighter out of cotton? I’ve been scrubbing and soaking it for half an hour and if this doesn’t come out, Tyrion will get his head lopped off. True story >:(

    • Eivol Ekdal

      Last resort try hairspray. edit (when dry)

      • Missionary Kid

        Hairspray has a lot of alcohol in it, but it also contains other stuff that might not help. Going straight for alcohol is the best thing, IMO, instead of using something that will work, but can present other problems. Hairspray used to contain a lot of lacquer, IIRC.

    • ReallyMGM

      Hairspray takes ballpoint ink out. Something about the alcohol content. Hand sanitizers work on getting some non permanent types of fountain pen inks out. Same reason. So alcohol. The kind you get in the drug store.

      • Missionary Kid

        All are types of alcohols. The best thing to do is get something with a high content of alcohol. Drug store is right, IMO.

        • ReallyMGM

          As opposed to the liquor store. LOL

          • Missionary Kid

            Actually, Everclear (190 proof, or 95% alcohol) would probably work very well – if it’s sold in your state.

            • ReallyMGM

              Don’t light any matches around it though!

            • Jenny Daniels

              You beat me to it!

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Your dog’s ears make me want to kiss its little face.

      • Your kiss can be his final sweet memory before he dies a horrible death >x((

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          😛

    • Sookie Sookie

      You could try oxiclean — I’ve never used it on highlighter, but it’s gotten rid of some things that I *knew* would never come out. Good luck (Tyrion)! hehe

      • Tyrion thanks you all for trying to save his life. His mother will let you know if any of these tips work out *paws crossed*

    • aquaclara

      I am a big fan of oxygenated bleach (Oxiclean), which is a great stain remover. Treat, scrub, holding an old towel underneath (one you don’t use any more) and on top to blot and help absorb the marker color. Treat and wash, treat and wash. Repeat until it goes away, hopefully pretty quickly. Safer than regular bleach…
      Just don’t put it in the dryer until the stain is really all gone. The dryer sets the stain.

    • SarahDB

      Try 91% isopropyl alcohol from the drug store (or chemists if you are across the pond).

    • Lucille Austero

      Save the baby – toss the blanket!!

    • Kestrel

      When will we learn if Tyrion lived?

    • Snippy_X

      Maybe buy more highlighters or arty fabric dye and incorporate the stains into a new flower pattern or a tie die.

    • Missionary Kid

      I hearsayed the question, and it appears that a high concentration of alcohol or also laundry pre-washes work best. (Pre-washes are usually glycol based, which is a form of alcohol.

      I replied to someone else below, but Hearsay gave these ideas.
      http://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-remove-a-highlighter-stain-on-clothes#b
      http://www.kenarry.com/highlighter-stain-removal/

      The last one seems to be the best, IMO.

      • Thanks MK

        • Missionary Kid

          Best of luck. Stains can be a bitch.

    • L. Wrong Hubturd

      Awwww, wook at the wittle face of his. He says,”Mama, I didn’t mean to be a bad boy. Iz woves you, Mama.” How could you be mad at that for too long? Good luck with the stains though.

  • Vaquera

    Text convo with my daughter a few minutes ago (f5)

    • Lol. How old?

      • Vaquera

        21 years old.

        • Eclipse-girl

          my daughter would ask “is it scientology related?”

          • Richard Grant

            Mine would just say, “This is some Scientology thing, isn’t it.”

            • EmmaDaoust

              I came home last night to find my cat left me a special hairball gift on my bed. She has never done that on the bed before. Unless it was the OSA…

            • Missionary Kid

              An OSA cat?

            • Betsy

              Emma,

              I think all of us kitteh-frends know that hairball gifts are to be cherished.

              See you tomorrow!

            • Betsy

              Emma,

              I think all of us kitteh-frends know that hairball gifts are to be cherished.

              See you tomorrow!

            • coonellie

              Same here, but I still get the eye roll as mine is in her teens 😉

            • Jenny Daniels

              I still get the eye roll and mine is 33!

        • Congrats on surviving her teens. Now you get your wonderful daughter back and bonus, she’s a grown up!

        • Ella Raitch

          Mine’s 20 xx

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      I love you both 😀

    • SarahDB

      This sounds like my daughter and me!

    • Juicer77

      XD

    • Lucille Austero

      This is awesome 🙂

    • Missionary Kid

      All our children think we’re weird until they get to be older. Then they are more forgiving, IMO.
      At least, she’s got a good sense of humor, like her mother.

    • EmmaDaoust

      Some of us are nowhere near as weird as you.

    • Nina

      Vaquera- I’m a Toronto girl and HAD to take some time off work to be there… I’m definitely as weird as you 😉 Today was fantastic and I’ll be there tomorrow too- will find you to say hi

      • skiesareblue

        Nice meeting you, Nina and many thanks for the beer. 🙂

        • Nina

          Likewise skies! My pleasure- what an incredible event xo

    • PerpetualOutflow

      Priceless

  • Not sure if this is downthread or not, But to top it off, Carmen Llewelyn sings over at gawker with a heartfelt tribute to Jon . . . http://gawker.com/why-i-left-scientology-1703997050

    • Alice Graves

      I thought her story was really well written and genuine – spoken by someone with an obviously sensitive nature who remembers every step along the way where she gave up her critical thinking to have the relationship, the friends, the sense of belonging. One of the best descriptions I’ve read of the long way down into the rabbit hole.

  • Nobly

    Does anyone know if we need tickets for the Clearwater shindig next Sunday? I hope we have a great turnout!

    • SarahDB

      Pretty sure, since it’s at the library, that you just show up. You might check on the websites of the sponsoring organizations.

  • Tony Ortega

    NEW STORY IS UP

  • Jerseygram

    I just read the “family story” with connections to John Steinbeck that Tony wrote for the Village Voice and which he referred to in this piece. I recommend taking a few minutes to read it. It’s wonderfully written (of course) and quite a story.

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    New post up.

    • Susan_Qbird_Poche

      nuts – I gotta get to work. but I’ll be back ~ ha!

      eta: Sandy! Reply to me please.

  • Sibs

    Catching up on what I missed since I had to drop out of the live blog yesterday. Tony, we’re all grateful that you take so much time to research and write more stories about $cientology along with everything else that you do at Raw Story and promoting TUML. In all honesty the subject is so big and nuts and always worse than we think that I don’t know if I’ll ever completely understand the people who still suffer under this mindfuck day in and day out, or the puppetmasters who started it and keep it going. But this blog really helps.

    Okay, going on to the next post.

  • daisy

    I am posting with new name Thanks for all your hel

    • Eclipse-girl

      Welcome.

    • EmmaDaoust

      Her real name is Buttercup. 🙂

    • aquaclara

      Now you can think about an avi. When you’re ready, find a daisy or any pic you like (google images daisy) for starters. Click on a pic and save it to your computer. Then we can walk you through the rest to put it in the little box next to your name. You can do it! And no rush!

    • Hi Daisy!

  • Brainslugged

    “Well, I’m a daily reader of Mike Rinder’s blog, so I’m pretty convinced Scientology is on the verge of collapse. But until it actually does, I’m still in the front row taking notes.”

    As humble as ever. I believe “I’m still on the front lines sharpening my bayonet” would be more apt.

    • Juicer77

      The pen is mightier than the sword.

  • Supper Powers

    Wish your dissertation was this book and you were awarded your PhD.

  • chukicita

    OT sorta, but this song names a bunch of people we know here. It was originally written for Tory’s birthday, and it’s the happiest song I ever wrote.

    The part at the beginning and end was courtesy of a recording of a picket done in 2008 by Manchester Anonymous. I just found out today that this popped up on YouTube “autogenerated” from CDBaby. I don’t think anyone has listened to it there yet:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UK6zxk475Gk

    • MarcabExpat

      This is soooo cool.

      • chukicita

        thanks 😀

    • aquaclara

      You wrote this?!? Outstanding.

    • Donna Cline Sargent

      excellent !

    • Rita Gregory

      Nice!

  • sugarplumfairy

    I just finished Tony’s Burnham story.. Wow.. The Burnham book sounded familiar.. So I checked out my bookshelves.. I have a signed copy from 1979.. I bought it back in the nineties at that huge used book store in Portland, Oregon that I can’t recall the name of.. I remember it because it was a pain to pack that heavy thing for the flight home.. But I got it home, put it on the shelf, and never opened it again.. Tonight, it gets opened..

    What a beautiful tribute that article is to a talented but sad man..

    • Missionary Kid

      Powell’s is the big one, with many branches. There are also some other excellent ones, among them, the one within sight of the Portland Ideal Morgue that’s across the street and at the other end of the block, Cameron’s.

      They’re no friend of $cientology.

      • sugarplumfairy

        Powell’s! That’s it! Thanks, Kid!

        • Missionary Kid

          Hearsay is my memory. 😉

    • Juicer77

      That was a great article. A signed copy! How amazing.

      • sugarplumfairy

        I have a scary big library for a not so huge condo.. But I love it.. And I’m so tickled to find this gem.. Perusing it now.. It’s a foreign language to me.. But I’m not giving up..

        • Juicer77

          Good for you! We will have to compare favorite books sometime.
          ETA: Now I’m thinking I should hustle down to DC in July to meet more Bunkeroos…

          • sugarplumfairy

            I think you should too!!

  • daisy

    New to posting, but I did want to thank out proprietor for all his tireless work and dedication to teaching us all about this crime syndicate that is the CO$

    • Free Minds, Free Hearts

      Welcome miss daisy!

  • Miles Biondo

    In a perfect world, Tony would have paused periodically during his live presentation to update us on whatever he himself just said. Though I concede that would have made for a less-than-ideal audience experience.

    • Eclipse-girl

      I miss live blogging too.

    • Juicer77

      At the Going Clear premiere, it was Tony on screen, Tony on the blog and Tony in person! Plus he was snarking at himself on screen.
      “Miles” I can’t wait to read Tony’s write-up about you. Thanks for being an SP and a Bunkeroo.

    • L. Wrong Hubturd

      Sorry, Jon, I’m blogging. It would have be good for a few laughs.

  • thetastic

    This just might be one of my favorite stories ever. Thank you, Tony, for what you do every day.

  • madame duran

    Just got home 20 minutes ago. Feeling drained but excited. Will update later. Gotta catch some zzzz’s for round two.

  • Betsy

    A quick report before I crash…what a day, what an evening!

    After my earlier report we had a terrific presentation by Nancy Many, Spanky Taylor and Nora Crest; Nancy and Spanky remembered the Celebrity Center years with Yvonne Gilham, and Nora told about the alterations after Yvonne’s death. The relationship of Scientology with celebrities, first as promoted by Hubbard and later by DM, was discussed and many questions followed.

    After that a gaggle of Bunkerites and others had a wonderful lunch at a place across from the conference. Our own Madame Duran, a Toronto native, steered us over to a nifty buffet restaurant…we filled up a long set of tables and yacked as quickly as possible (short lunch breaks here!) while jamming food into our faces. The food was wonderful, the talk even better. Bunkerites were meeting and screeching with joy during the day…I met Madame D., BlueSkies, Elaine, and had already met Vaquera yesterday…along with Jens and I’m sure others that I can’t think of right at the moment because I’m elderly and need to get some sleep.

    After lunch Jim Beverley (not Brennan, that was a mistake on the printed schedule) and Christian Szurko talked about their perspectives on “The Religion Angle”…the ongoing question of whether Scientology is or is not a religion.

    And then…another amazing presentation by Jesse Prince. All I can say is that everyone must, must, must get his book the second it comes out. We were screaming with laughter much of the time but Jesse’s story is powerful and movingly told. And he was there when.

    The evening began with a special treat…Tory, looking gorgeous and elegant in black, talked about the growth of her suspicions during the period when she was being used in Scientology’s war against the internet; when she began to perceive that the “protection” of members was actually a serious attack on free speech, she was lured into a threatening scene that resulted in her conviction that she had to leave. She will talk later in the conference about being told not to use medication for her epilepsy; tonight she focussed on the efforts to avert the perceived threat of the Internet by Co$.

    Afterwards Jesse Prince came back to the podium for Q&A. His talk brought up profound issues about Hubbard’s intentions in creating the organization and particularly OT VIII. I can’t possibly give the gist of it here — the topic is complex and brought up many questions and comments. I can only say that his book and future videos of the conference must not be missed.

    I think some end-of-day merrymaking may be going on downstairs, but I have to slather on my nightly tub of anti-aging unguents and get some sleep. Tony took off this afternoon after giving us late-breaking news about the news that you have all seen about Mr. Slatkin’s death. In spite of his gruelling schedule Tony looked fresh as a daisy as he checked out of the hotel, unlike most of the rest of us…well, unlike me, at any rate. I went by Paulette as I crawled back to my room just now and she too looked fabulous as always.

    Stay tuned for more. If this gets any more exciting Mr. Betsy is going to have come to Toronto to rescue me…and not because of the poutine!

    • A bird in the chimney

      Thank you so much, Betsy. Pleasant dreams!

      • Betsy

        Thanks, bird! Tonight’s beauty protocols may have to be scrapped. I’m not sure I can still get my hands all the way up to my face.

        • Donna Cline Sargent

          yes thank you so much for the update. pleasant dreams 🙂

    • Betsy

      Oh! Oh! Totally forgot to mention Chris Shelton’s wonderful talk about the Truth Rundown this morning! Chris is…well, just amazing. And a great speaker. AND easy on the eyes, what else can I say?

      • daisy

        He is easy on the eyes . Any wedding ring . I think its his thoughtful posts and great talks about critical thinking that makes he and his brain so attractive

    • Frodis73

      Great update! Thanks for keeping us informed. I *cannot* wait to see the video of this thing…it’s going to historic and epic.

    • madame duran

      Betsy and I went back to the delicious buffet restaurant for dinner and guess which song was playing overhead on the speakers while we were there? “Ordinary World” by Duran Duran. I take that as a very good sign of things to come. 🙂

    • aquaclara

      Thanks so much! I feel like I’m there…almost. What does poutine taste like, anyway?

      • Betsy

        It’s just heaven! And you can FEEL your arteries closing up while you are eating it…

        • aquaclara

          Yum. Like cheesesteaks. What’s not to love?

    • Eclipse-girl

      thank you for taking the time to write this up.

    • Ella Raitch

      Really appreciate this Betsy.

    • TheMirrorThetan

      Thanks so much for the updates. It sounds like you had an amazing time.
      Cant wait for Jesse’s book too.

    • Rita Gregory

      Thanks for writing this up for us, Betsy!

    • Tory Christman

      Thanks for the write up, Betsy! I’m not sure if you knew…but the entire time I was at the Conference
      I was “off line” ….so I’m working on catching up. So great to read the Bunker, even after the Conference.
      Oh what a glorious time we all had!! 🙂

      • Betsy

        Tory, we DID have a glorious time! And for me a big part of the gloriousness was finally meeting you face to face! I’m still processing the information…I’m glad I took notes. (I got home and found I had filled the journal book almost halfway.)

        Your talks were astounding and so beautifully delivered…just powerful, that’s all I can think of to say. I had a hard time taking notes when you talked because I was so riveted to you and the things you were saying (had a similar problem with Nora Crest and Jon Atack, I found.)

        I hope you got home with no trouble. I left very early in the morning on Sunday and the Toronto airport was a madhouse (at 6:00 AM!) That manhunt was still going on and they had closed the border between NY and Canada…so many people who were driving into the States were turned back and decided to try to fly in. The flights were crammed and people were hysterical. It was a good time to remember details of Buddhist practice! But I got home with no trouble once I had managed to get past the gates.

        I had thought I would sleep but was sitting next to a blonde woman about my age who asked the usual questions…”Why were you visiting Toronto?” in a thick accent. I told her I had been at a conference about the psychology of cults. In response to her questions I said that people who get out of cults frequently have the same problems as people who have been in a war. At some point she said “I know…I vas in Vahhhr.” I thought she was was telling me about a cult called “Vahhhr.” When I asked her to repeat, she said ” Vahhhr in Bosnia.” It turned out that she had lost her brother to sniper fire and when she and her husband and daughter were trying to get out of the country they were stopped by Serbs (who were trying to take over Bosnia and “cleanse” it) who demanded that the husband sign over their house to them. When the husband refused they shot him in the head IN FRONT OF her and the little daughter. She and the daughter ended up in a refugee camp where they spent more than a year, including one very cold winter, in tents. Finally they got into Canada because she had been trained as a nurse and could have a profession. Of course they had to learn English almost instantly.

        I told her about some of the problems of ex-cult members and she said that she too has nightmares (30 years later) and can’t get the terror of being hurt (her city was under constant sniper fire for months and it was potentially death to go into the street to try to get food.) They starved and had to drink dirty water…anyway, the PTSD stuff was absolutely similar, although when she started telling her story I stopped with my information and just listened. When we got to Toronto…she was going to Idaho to visit her daughter, now married and with children…we hugged and I told her sincerely that I felt honored to have heard her story.

        So the PTSD thing is not an invention. I was astounded at how similar her mental anguish was to that of people who spent time on the RPF. And ALSO about how similar the situation was between Milosevich and Hubbard (and Miscavige)…all dangerous, absolutely narcissistic men who were willing to do ANYTHING to get power.

        So…that was my homecoming. Now I’m sacking out and hugging John every chance I get and lying on the couch with the purring cat on my chest. As you keep telling people still in…come out! Life out here is good! It has its problems, but freedom is worth it! And I know that is true because the Bosnian woman’s story had the same message. In spite of it all, she is visiting her grandchildren and enjoying life in Canada with new friends and NO terror.

        Hope to talk to you at some point soon again, Tory! If you get any brainstorms and want to tell someone, I will always be happy to talk about things with you! (And don’t forget the hip…you ARE going to need a new one at some point…)

        Betsy

  • daisy

    Thank you to all – for keeping we who are not there informed. I almost feel like you are people I had over for lunch and we are sitting around talking about how great the chef was. ¨(Not me- a hired chef)

  • Robert Hammond

    Yes. I’ve seen your YouTube videos. Very cool.

  • PoisonIvyHerself

    Wow Tony, never knew you were straight outta Compton! And got to break bread with the infamous Mr. Murdoch. I think I’d like to write YOUR biography! Miss Lovely was perfect page-turning beach reading on our short vacay. Kept turning to Mr. Ivy and saying, “What the F—?” There is so much to the story that has never been told and you did an amazing job of telling it, warts and all (aka the Bast tapes.) Paulette is a real hero. I honestly don’t think I would’ve have the strength to make it through what she went through – it’s like the movie GASLIGHT as interpreted by Kafka and viewed on hallucinogenics. Recommending it to everyone – I mean civilians, not Bunkerites! Bravo and Brava to the dynamic duo!

  • PerpetualOutflow

    Just read the Robert Burnham, Jr. piece. An absolute masterpiece, but I am now so sad that I have to go to bed. Good thing since it’s late anyway. What a gift you have Tony.

  • OMG! I was delighted and honored to be invited to the conference in
    Toronto… When I arrived I was even more honored to share a room with
    Jonny Jacobsen for the 5 days there… What a mind blowing experience
    to spend 5 days with an all star cast! I learned so much about COS. The
    COS , what I thought was just a cute little Hollywood fad cult like
    Madonna and the Kabbalah, turned out to be the darkest most violent cult
    I have ever heard of! Thank you Professor Jim and Jon Atack for
    inviting me to the “Woodstock of COS”!!!! My esteem and respect for all
    ex-Scientologists has just hit the outer atmosphere! I made so many
    wonderful friends there… Gerry, Jesse, Nora, Hannah, Nancy, Tory, Steve
    Hassan and on and on with whom I fell instantly in love with… Can’t
    wait for the next one!!! Sincerely and with great respect, David T
    Pike, FACTNet.org

    • EmmaDaoust

      Was good to meet you, David.

  • After all these years never knew Tony Ortega had earned a post-graduate degree and attended Columbia. Never talked about it. An interesting interview.