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Wise Beard Man visits Scientology’s new Fantasyland in Clearwater

Storefronts1

 
We asked Mark Bunker to mosey on down to Fort Harrison Avenue yesterday to get a gander at the new storefronts Scientology opened up this week.

They’re a series of cute little shops extending north of the Clearwater Bank building, an area that’s always been of some interest in Scientology’s “mecca” of downtown Clearwater. It was in the Clearwater Bank building that church executives Mark “Marty” Rathbun and Mike Rinder spent four years plotting strategy as the organization dealt with the legal fallout after the 1995 death of Lisa McPherson. Meanwhile, at 33 N. Fort Harrison, a little north of the bank, the church critics who operated the Lisa McPherson Trust kept her name in the press and gave Scientology leader David Miscavige heartburn. More recently, we’ve seen lots of footage as Alex Hageli (“Darth Xander”) made a specialty of filming Sea Org workers coming and going in the alley behind the building from their mess hall to their course rooms or quarters.

But then more recently, the entire block was put under wraps and fumigated as it went through a facelift. And finally, this week, we got to see what Scientology is doing with the property: It’s opened up its own version of Disneyland Main Street!

At least that was the impression that Bunker got as he walked down the street in the intense Florida sunshine yesterday. Each storefront features a different Scientology “social betterment” front group, some of which try to pretend that they have only minimal connection to Scientology itself. Well, that will be a bit more difficult to maintain after this.

Bunker says he was eagerly met by a young man who invited him into the storefront established for Criminon, Scientology’s prison program.

“I asked him if he was in the Sea Org, and he said he was,” Bunker said. “He asked me if I knew about Criminon, and I said sure, I knew about all of the groups. About that time, I could see a security officer across the street was racing over. ‘Come here,’ he said, grabbed him by the arm, and took him into the building.”

 
CriminonKid

 
Well, so much for the inviting welcome. But Bunker said he wasn’t about to go into any of the storefronts anyway. There’s still an old court injunction left over from the LMT days that carries serious penalties if Bunker violates its terms. He knew that if he stepped onto church property, he might be arrested.

But he tempted fate enough to get a closer look through the windows into the storefront dedicated to The Way to Happiness, the anodyne booklet of life advice attributed to L. Ron Hubbard that Scientology hands out by the bajillion.

“It was the old LMT. I could see where my old office was through the window,” Bunker said, showing us where he worked in 2000 and 2001. Mark explained to us that after Scientology got Bob Minton by the short hairs, the wealthy businessman was forced to sign over ownership of the LMT building. “It’s pretty much stayed locked up until now. It’s to be expected. Scientology pretty much owns the entire downtown, they might as well own the LMT.”

 
TWTHlmt

[Bunker looks through the window at what was the LMT. His desk was not far from where this woman sits at the storefront for The Way to Happiness.]

 
We asked him about the new storefronts and how they look. “It’s all too much like an amusement park. And just like in an amusement park, the workers inside were smiling by decree, and trying to get me to come in. I think they were thrilled to see anyone walking by, because it is dead down there.

“I would have enjoyed going inside to talk with them. My conversation with the Criminon guy was pleasant, I didn’t say anything to upset him. But I know the rules I live by here. They’d make a case out of anything.”

Why does he think they’ve gone to the trouble to put up these tacky fake businesses? “I think this is Scientology’s way to say to the city government they they’re doing something about city development. But who’s going to visit these places? It just seems like a PR push to make Scienotology look good and to pretend that something is happening downtown.”

 
——————–

Today we’re in Hartford!

TMW

We hope we get a chance to see you today at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, with our appearance at 7 pm. We’ll be joined onstage by Dan Perkins — better known as cartoonist Tom Tomorrow — who will ask us about our book The Unbreakable Miss Lovely and we’ll ask him about his exciting Kickstarter.

 
——————–

Bonus photos from our tipsters

 
Tatyana Malchikova, OT 8, Freedom medal, ready for Target Two.

 
OTViii

 
Hey, girl. You think I look scary? You should read this guy Hubbard.

 
Joker

 
The Denver team is back from GAT II training! Come get your Survival Rundown, people!

 
SciDenver3

 
Speak of the devil! Actual caption: “Jerry A. On Wednesday night came to to the registrar and said ” oh, I forgot — I want to pay for my Survival Rundown!” Imagine that?!”

 
SciDenver4

 
“No, he actually left his body voluntarily and he’s now up there at Target Two. See?”

 
VM1

 
Yes, Scientology has sent a Volunteer Ministers riverboat up the Amazon. Isn’t life grand?

 
VM2

 
——————–

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)…

 
July 14: Hartford, MARK TWAIN HOUSE, 7 pm (with Tom Tomorrow)

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

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

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

July 24: San Antonio, Folc Restaurant/Park Social, 6 pm

July 25: Austin, Cafe Express, 3 pm, Center for Inquiry

July 29: Paris, Le Bistrot Landais, 19:00 (with Jonny Jacobsen)

August 4: London, Conway Hall, (with John Sweeney)

August 24: Boston, Boston Skeptics in the Pub, 7 pm (with Gregg Housh)

Sept 15: Arizona State University

Sept 23: Cleveland

Sept 24: Minneapolis

Sept 27: Portland

Sept 28: Seattle

Sept 29: Vancouver, BC

 
——————–

Posted by Tony Ortega on July 14, 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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  • Todd Tomorrow

    “I don’t drink unless I smoke crack, my throat gets dry”- Mark Twain Degennerous

    • B4you

      Why did the Chicken cross the road – Because you didn’t cook it! – Gordon Ramsey.

  • Commodore H. McCringleberry

    Thanks everyone for the awesome response to the Bunker swag! The time is now 12:45AM central. Due to the incredible response, everyone who emails in the next 30 mins will get one on the first round, but I have to cut it off after that. Once this first batch is done, I’ll see what I can do about offering another round. Keep in mind that I’m offering this completely free of charge- even shipping- partly just due to reticence about selling anything related to the Clampire, but also because you people are awesome.

    • SP Wogsy

      It was enough that you took my suggestion. Thx for playing with us. It was fun : )

      • Commodore H. McCringleberry

        Since your design got used, you can request anytime and pick size and color. I really appreciate the help. Its a lot of concentration for me to just make rectangles and triangles and then make sure the printer doesn’t explode.

        • Todd Tomorrow

          She has a “friend” who might be pregnant so she might need an infant size one, too. πŸ™‚

          • SP Wogsy

            Ssssshhhhh… don’t tell anyone.

            • coonellie

              W-H-A-T?

    • Vaquera

      A heart as big as Tejas!

    • Ella Raitch

      I totally want some but will wait until after. I want one of each!!! Do you have paypal?

    • Juicer77

      That’s so nice of you πŸ™‚

  • SP Wogsy

    … Night Bunker Boogers!

  • Enturbulated Masterbator

    Seeing Clearwater street pics reminds me of a recent conversation about the Mother Land. A friend of mine who is a flight attendant said the she worked a few Tampa turns last week. She was talking with another crew member at the end of their trip and they both commented about the oddness and weirdness of the TPA passengers. I said one word, “Scientologists” and her reaction was, “Oh, I get it!”

    • Todd Tomorrow

      Funny, I travel and when someone is from Tampa i ask them and they act like they never go near Clearwater. Sort as if to say, it’s a completely different world. Most seem to not know too much about the $cions like a guy you’d sit next to from Alaska.

      • Enturbulated Masterbator

        I think the Chult should get it’s own airport and I suggest KSW as it’s IATA code but unfortunately it’s already in use in Israel. And LRH is in France…damn!

        • Todd Tomorrow

          It’s a private airport ,so its code would start with a K and be 4 letters long. KKSW? Little grogey nut let me get crafty tomorrow. Ex; KSFO, is the private airfield for SFO. How about, KSWI for keep $cientology Working International? No? Let me think.

        • Missionary Kid

          KYSC (From YSCOHB).

          • coonellie

            You’re up late! BTW, I think KAOS would be a good acronym :). I loved Get Smart!

            • Todd Tomorrow

              ?,what would that stand for?

            • Missionary Kid

              That’s the best one, so far.

      • Sunny Sands

        My first thought would be they don’t go to Pinellas County at all because the direct path there means crossing one of 3 long bridges. Same reason folks don’t go the other way if they can help it.

  • Vaquera

    Alright, my lovelies, this chick is a puddle of nothing. I will try to sleep in tomorrow morning, after which I’ll have a mini write-up for you. No DC-type antics to report, but it was an absolutely engaging evening. I was proud to represent.
    TTFN – Vaq

    • SP Wogsy

      Sleep tight!

      • Vaquera

        et toi

    • EmmaDaoust

      Off to bed with ye! Nighty night!

    • Juicer77

      Glad you got home safe!

  • Mockingbird

    Hey Bunkeroos, a bit off topic but occasionally folks ask me about NLP . I ALWAYS warn it is a harmful fraud , like Scientology. I found an article that lists ten steps to protect yourself from NLP and find it amusing that it could be used against Scientology as well . Please read it if you are interested and let me know what you guys think regarding NLP itself and its similarities to Scientology . Both practices essentially rely on controlling people through covert language methods including repetition and confusion and in reframing reality for victims.

    Both stole lots from hypnosis and renamed the methods . Both pretend to cure tons of illnesses and problems with no scientific evidence EVER produced . In my mind they are similar frauds , but Scientology is a far more comprehensive thought reform program .

    http://ultraculture.org/blog/2014/01/16/nlp-10-ways-protect-mind-control/

    • SP Wogsy

      Interesting. Thx for sharing.

    • B4you

      This article is a “Bait and Switch” but gives you an idear of Neuro-liguistic Programming (see the comments under the article).

      Funny how Scientologist thinks they are the only one to have, “read the book”, and demonstrate there will to fuck with you mind, from at point where they think they are totally in control. Sorry dude; but I have read the same bookΒ΄s and everyone else in scientology has. Dumbass!

      I believe we all had played it out when we sneak up on a new Body-router and the new dude hysterically try to convince you of the hilarious world changing results of Dianetics. And you just fuck them over, playing a stupid WOG.

      Most people turn up, only to be interested in Scientology because of Black Dianetics so they can “protect” them self from the mean world. On the question: Will you audit you fellow man when you become an Auditor? The answer is mostly: No! But itΒ΄s nice to have the Data… Perverts!

      Tnx for the link Mockingbird. Keep exposing the perverted minds.

    • daytoncapri

      I was curious about NLP until I read up on it. Thank you, Father Google.

      My sis-in-law works at an alternative health clinic that offers a mix of offerings. One fellow in residence has a masters in counseling, masters of divinity and certs in NLP. I don’t want to go near that guy, but I am told that he’s not a cultish leader sort-of-guy, and that his personal 1-on-1 counseling style really does help people. Just reporting.

      Also offered in the clinic: Feldenkraise …any opinions?

      • Mockingbird

        Never heard of that one but any NLP activity is one I will not endorse . One of the problems with NLP is that it involves covertly manipulating people in a way that is unethical for most people. I would read a bit of critical info on NLP if I were you to be wise to any tricks he might want to pull on you . And I must stress that it is a fraud and pseudoscience packed with lies .

        • daytoncapri

          Fair enough. As an FYI … Feldekraise has nothing to do with NLP. It is a way of understanding body movement in the context of physical rehab, on of the many offerings of this alternative health clinic.

  • OT: Hi Beloved Bunkerbugs!

    So, due to our propensity to go on tangents, Jimmy and I started a Disqus channel for off-topic/random/goofy conversation. It’s very cleverly called Off-Topic XD

    If you want to yammer endlessly about silly stuff and not tick serious commenters off or clutter this comment section you have a new place to crash! Give it a glimpse, comment, upvote/downvote/recommend all you like AND definitely feel free to create new posts about whatever you want!

    Linky-link: https://disqus.com/home/channel/offtopic/

    <3 Nat
    https://i.imgflip.com/o83gu.jpg

    • coonellie

      Nat, I love off-topic, but will you accept believers there? (Christians…Trinitarians, actually, not from your family faith path – which from what I can gather are oneness Pentecostals? a sect not having much ground within orthodox Xiantity…without having preconceived prejudice against us….me?) I’m not your typical X, but I still have my faith and I don’t want to taint what you and J3 are doing? Hence, my question.

      • Of course πŸ™‚
        It’s just something light and fun

        • coonellie

          Great, thanks! I could use light and fun! I’ve already posted :).

          Keep teaching those kid lets good grammar! They need it.

    • Supper Powers

      Boo. I like us sticking together. Off and on topic.

      • Oh, you’re still stuck with us here too XD
        The Bunker = internet crack

        • Supper Powers

          I still down vote you because our conversations break up. Boo!

          • Supper Powers

            Message moved.

        • Supper Powers

          (I very much like you, Nat. I am very grateful for you.))

    • Supper Powers

      “If you want to yammer endlessly about silly stuff and not tick serious commenters off “…

      So, so badly. But right here. Right, right here.

      • SP Wogsy

        Awwww. It’s gonna be ok Supper. Nobody is leaving. Hating Scientology keeps the Bunker going.

        • Supper Powers

          Irgh. I don’t like this. I prefer a dirty kitchen with people hanging in the corners than guests leaving for the mediocre tavern down the street.

    • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

      Nat, I stole the Johnny Cash pic, my husband is in his closet dying laughing right now cause I emailed it to his phone from the bedroom (I am so lazy lol). πŸ™‚

      • LOL

      • jazzlover

        That’s almost as funny as watching my teenage daughter snapchat with her friend while sitting next to her πŸ™‚

  • MostEthicalPimp

    Errr, So Conflicted!

  • MostEthicalPimp

    Err, So conflicted. (F5)

  • Pierrot

    *** RED X +–+ Reminder +–+ RED X *** Wednesday, 15 July 2015

    Good morning Night Owls and Early Birds,

    The week’s scores and RedX links: https://whyweprotest.net/threads/taking-down-co-on-craigslist-co-ads-on-craigslist.113779/page-121#post-2546132
    Tuesday is below average, it is all Cal, OC leads SFBay

    Help keep the vulnerable and depressed away from co$, whack a few ads : https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-Kvg78kCcvo5gL7UfPcmhmbsagTNtdj0y2LAiHVFrCU/pubhtml

    F5… BilBoard enhanced by Bob KΓ₯re for RedX, and flickred by Aeger Primo https://www.flickr.com/photos/120371503@N05/16213096977/in/set-72157642802079293

  • When I was in, just a few years ago, we would try to sell Hubbard’s books mainly at the book fairs, malls, flea markets, but never at the agricultural shows. This is tragicomical. I know they try to help others, but use your smartphones smartly scientologists.

    • Supper Powers

      Baaaaahhhhh.

    • MostEthicalPimp

      You know what I used to say the smarter the phone the dumber the user.

      • I can see that. However, there are number of factors. Most scientologists I know are no dumb.
        Some use scientology as a vehicle to better living, with a Plan B in mind. My adventure started in Eastern Europe and I remember thinking – if this will turn out to be a scam, at least my family will have a chance to live in more developed country. And that’s exactly what happened.

        • Supper Powers

          My family came from Russia through Rotterdam to Vermont to the Midwest of America. They worked til their hands bled. Does Scientology fool people that it’s honerable to come here through their front groups?

          • I don’t think scientology does that, based on my experience. They are all about “Total Freedom” in general, which conveniently for them aligns with a general spirit of American core values. So no need to push that line, combined with economical advantages, it goes without saying. Nice to know you have slavic roots. Also, my Dad loved Vermont.

            • Supper Powers

              We are probably cousins. πŸ˜‰

        • MarcabExpat

          I spent two years living in Eastern Europe just after the fall of the Iron Curtain. The Communist Party was hilariously trying to get back into office via free elections, farmers’ markets were springing up everywhere, and six months into freedom, the cults were already trying to colonize. I saw Hare Krishnas and Moonies in my little town, but not Scientologists back then. I’m so sorry they did move it, but good for you for making it your ticket to the wider world!

        • daytoncapri
      • EmmaDaoust

        I have a similar saying: High performance car, low performance driver.

        • MostEthicalPimp

          Another one this time from my mom is TMC, Or Too Much Car.

    • Leigh Andrews

      Didn’t the expectation that books would be marked down 90% or more make it hard to sell the books at these venues, particularly flea markets?

      • The E-Meter used as a tool to sell books and procure names and addresses.
        Stress test = pinch test = finding a ruin = sale, you got the idea.

        • anoni81b4u

          Interesting, Insightful insight from the inside.

  • Newiga

    Morning ya’ll. Less than a month until Conway Hall, London. Who else is coming?

    • Graham

      I got my ticket.

    • Snuzey

      Hoping to, I got the afternoon booked off, as I’ll need to travel from Bristol!

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      I’m coming πŸ™‚

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      A pub has been located a short walk from Conway Hall where we intend to meet at around 5.30pm for food – by the time the event finishes we’re unlikely to make it anywhere that’s still serving, but we’ll all be able to have a drink together afterwards. I’ll let you know the name and location of the pub nearer the time. Hopefully you’ll all be able to meet us there πŸ™‚

      • Newiga

        Great! I’ll be there! πŸ˜‰

    • $cnMonkeyNut$

      Yus-there’ll be a Monkey in the vicinity πŸ™‚

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      I’ve just sent you my email address on an old article.

  • anoni81b4u

    Poor Kirstie

    • Supper Powers

      Excellent sales pitch.

      • Graham

        I got my ticket! ETA- sorry, right answer, but wrong thread!

        • Supper Powers

          I like it!

  • Tony Ortega

    Morning post will be delayed. Please be patient.

    • BraveBloggers

      My poor boss…

    • Are you testing Windows 10? Jk

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

        Dodo…I keep getting little messages telling me to update. I am afraid. LOL

        I know I’ll have to do it eventually, but I’m worried I’ll hate it as I have so many before it. πŸ™‚

        • It has to be better than Windows 8.1. We have nothing to loose.

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          We’ve been testing Windows 10 for several months and I promise you it’s better than 8.1. It takes the best elements of 7 and 8.1 and combines them in a more intuitive way. Having said that, I still despise the 8.1 elements!

        • Lol Speaking of Apple, if I ever go there, I want this: http://store.apple.com/us/buy-mac/imac-retina

          • SarahDB

            Yay for Apple! That’s a REALLY nice machine Dodo!

            • SarahDB

              I need to buy a new Apple laptop this fall, drooling now, my current old laptop is sooooo sloooooooow

            • 5k is basically 3 times more HD, so yeah. The detail is really real.

          • MrsLurksALot

            Once you go Mac, you never go back! Trust me.

          • kemist

            If you don’t have money for a Mac, install Linux Ubuntu. It’s free, you get to choose your GUI, and you have proper control of your machine. No more “Up yours, I decided to reboot during your important computing job” or “if you want a proper compiler, you’ll have to pay for it, schmuck”.

            I still have a Mac laptop, just because their mouse tile is miles ahead of those of other laptops. I could never go back now.

    • Graham

      People with addictions are not well known for their patience.

      So I’ll be patient πŸ™‚

    • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

      I’ve given up hope of trying to read all the comments I miss at night. I hope you and everyone who attended last night had a good time. I pray to Xenu that you’ve gotten some sleep. πŸ™‚

    • Davka

      It will give me a chance to read all the comments I didn’t yesterday πŸ™‚

    • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

      ^^^This. Hope our girl is ok.

      • I hope so too. It’s been a while since I last saw her.

        • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

          I don’t think this works in getting into her notifications but I’m going to bold it so if she scrolls there’s a chance she’ll see it. Maybe with your pic and this we’ll catch her when she passes through.

          Hey @FromPolandWithLove We miss you!! Come say Hello!!

  • ReallyMGM

    Read a FB status of an 80 yo male Scientologist last night. He has stage 4 throat cancer, and doing experimental treatments at MD Anderson, BUT is doing the PTS class for the 4th time because “nothing will work until he gets that.” Sad”

    • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

      …..

    • Tony Ortega

      Link?

      • ReallyMGM

        Can I cut and paste it? He is really sick, on feeding tube. Just an example of how the church does seniors.

        • madame duran

          How about a screen capture (plus a link)?

    • moonnfire

      I recently read an article about some man who cured cancer with just a raw vegan diet. I don’t think he was a Scientologist so that throws their theory out in the garbage

    • ReallyMGM

      I cut the non essential details out. This man is in the last days of his life. I also covered his name and face. Sorry. But I left the part of getting his 4th PTS class in to “get” it. Just sucking him dry before he dies, I guess.

      • Sunny Sands

        Thank you for posting this. It’s the human toll that is so sad.

        • ReallyMGM

          I just couldn’t in good conscience post his name or face after reading how profound his cancer struggle is. It just made me angry to see how his cherch had brainwashed him into thinking it was brought on by him being PST. He had had a reconnection with his adult son which was good (don’t know if he was declared, but they were estranged many years) and he had found love with another church goer who was bringing him much happiness and support. I hope his passing is peaceful.

  • Jack99

    “All good things arrive unto them that wait–and don’t die in the meantime.”
    -Mark Twain

  • Jack99

    “Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.”
    -Soren Kierkegaard

  • Sergeant Pepper

    While we wait, a question. Is scientology a granfalloon?

    • jazzlover

      No. It’s a Jimmy Falloon.

    • Robert Eckert

      It’s a wrang-wrang

    • Cat’s Cradle was my favorite book in high school!

      • Sergeant Pepper

        I rated it even with All Quiet on the Western Front, based on the enlightenment I received from each, not their respective literary value (which I am not qualified to judge). Love me some Bokononism though!

    • $cnMonkeyNut$

      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qjOZtWZ56lc
      $cientology is Numberwang!

      • Sergeant Pepper

        “As I recall, he cried.”

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Haha, how young they all look!

        • $cnMonkeyNut$

          Robert Webb still has his hair!

      • Juicer77

        This is hilarious! XD

    • Phil McKraken

      Yes, of course it is. But by the great man’s (KVJr) definition (and I sure don’t want to get all Bunker-is-a-cult-too on you), so it the Bunker. But I just had a vision of a cleared planet by LRH’s lights: the aftermath of Ice-9.

      Speaking of which, Kurt Vonnegut is yet another in a long list of great writers of science fiction whose gym bag LRH is not fit to carry.

      By they way, who is re-reading Dune? 50th anniversary is this October.

      • Sergeant Pepper

        I considered the Bunker more a karass than a granfalloon.

        • Awwww! Likewise :’)

        • Phil McKraken

          Yeah, it’s a common mistake. Granfallooners who think they’re a karass. We’re a tight-knit group, for sure, and nothing wrong with that!

          • πŸ˜›

          • Sergeant Pepper

            Like “Hoosiers”?
            From Wikipedia:

            karass – A group of people linked in a cosmically significant manner, even when superficial links are not evident.

            granfalloon – a false karass; i.e., a group of people who imagine they have a connection that does not really exist. An example is “Hoosiers”;
            Hoosiers are people from Indiana, and Hoosiers have no true spiritual
            destiny in common, so they really share little more than a name. Another
            example is a Cornellian, a student or graduate of Cornell University.

      • “Kurt Vonnegut is yet another in a long list of great writers of science fiction whose gym bag LRH is not fit to carry.”

        1,000 upvotes.

      • Rasha

        …wait, We were supposed to stop reading Dune?

    • ze moo

      Members of the proud, defiant and resolute IAS would disagree, if they knew what it meant. Bunkeroos, however are not sharing a false purpose. Destruction of the CO$ is positive purpose.

      Vonnegut was one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. Lroon was not fit to carry Kurt’s sweaty jock strap.

  • jazzlover

    You guys are funnier today than you were yesterday. Didn’t anybody go to sleep? πŸ˜‰

    • MostEthicalPimp

      Sleep is for people without bunker habits.

      • jazzlover

        I hear ya. Starting to learn that, but even though the mind is there, the body just sometimes can’t be. Hey, wasn’t that a Hubbard credo? πŸ˜‰

        • MostEthicalPimp

          No, I don’t think so. I think his motto was if the body is unable or unwilling. The spirit must have crimes.

          • jazzlover

            I promise — I’ll get the hang of this eventually πŸ™‚

    • We always get a lil’ loopy like this when the post is delayed — if it goes too long though, it can get a little “Lord of the Flies” in here XD

      • jazzlover

        Ha ha ha ha. I saw your comment late last night about the need for Off Topic. I laughed my ass off because it reminded me of the “holier than though” proclivities of far too many net dwellers. LOL

        • You are never off topic if the topic is to be “off-topic” XD

          • jazzlover

            That, my dear, may be the most paradoxical of all paradoxes πŸ˜‰

            • I know. I made myself a little dizzy. Gonna go lie down.

            • jazzlover

              I hear ya. Getting all knotted and convoluted in thought may just be one of my specialties πŸ™‚

          • MostEthicalPimp

            I feel like that’s a hubbard quality tautology!

    • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

      I did. I fell asleep with a stack of paperwork in my lap. LOL I wanted to stay and play but had to get some things finished. Also, I’m a stone cold bitch when I don’t sleep. πŸ™‚

      • jazzlover

        (Backs away holding SciFi cross up in yo face) πŸ™‚

        • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

          Hehehe!!

  • MostEthicalPimp

    If you’re UTR, here is a great article that points out how most cults function just like Scientology but with different labels.
    http://jwsurvey.org/cedars-blog/secrecy-and-deception-watchtower-fights-dirty-in-its-war-against-apostates

    • Ben Franklin

      Jehovah’s Witness Watchtower is exactly like Scientology in many many facets. If you don’t believe me, just watch the clips attached from an ex-member.

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

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLMuIbJ0ikQ

      • jazzlover

        As with Scientologists, I’ve always known that JW’s were a little off. But I was completely unaware that similar things are going on within it. Thanks for posting these. Hopefully, all the attention that SciFi is now getting will carry over to this and other cults.

    • arcinva

      Thanks for the link. I have a coworker/friend that is a JW. It will be interesting to see what issues the JWs themselves see with the organization.

      • MostEthicalPimp

        All I’m going to say is question things you know he should be questioning. And whatever dumb answer he gives just accept it with skeptical look or expression. One of my friends did this for years. I’m going to write a thank you note to him.

        • arcinva

          I’ve always been a bit puzzled by him. He’s a total computer geek. He has a very scientifically oriented mind. He’s also has a very critical approach to everything… except his church. I mean, if you can’t even read a web site or book critical of your own church, then how weak are you and they?

          Full disclosure: I’m a Christian (of the more mainstream variety). But for many years I’ve read information that is critical of Christianity, various denomination, various Bible translations, etc. Because that’s how I find my own beliefs. It’s like a debate; you hear both sides and then make up your own mind which is “right”.

  • Hugo Nuts

    A most excellent time was had in Hartford last night! And as someone who travels there regularly, that’s not usually the case! Great crowd, great presentation and worth the 2 hour plus drive in a downpour just to shake Tony’s hand.

    • jazzlover

      Too much insurance? Try New Haven πŸ˜‰

      • Hugo Nuts

        I get to span the whole lovely region between North Jersey and Springfield fairly regularly. New Haven at least has Louis Lunch, some valiant attempts at pizza making, and some cool cultural stuff. Hartford, on the other hand, has empty streets and for one night only, the esteemed proprietor of the Bunker.

        • jazzlover

          Agreed. But New Haven has also had a long-held reputation of being somewhat dicey. It’s been a while since I’ve been there, so maybe it’s gotten better. I’ve been meaning to take a ride up to check out the Rangers’ farm team in Hartford, though.

          • Hugo Nuts

            no more dicey than any other city. Then again, I was a teenager in NYC in the late 70’s so I don’t scare easily….it’s the deserted cities, the ones with no foot traffic, like Cleveland, that make me uneasy

            • jazzlover

              So was I. But back then there were definitely hoods within all boroughs that had little foot traffic. You still had to pick your spots. Many colleges at Yale’s level are placed in bad neighborhoods, oddly enough. Mine in Manhattan certainly was. We do the same thing with airports for some reason. It’s like the city planners think: “Well, you’re just about to escape, so no harm”.

    • Juicer77

      Glad you are home safe, and had a great time at the presentation!

  • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

    Coffee is done! πŸ™‚ (F5)

    • jazzlover

      Gonna need a bigger mug.

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

        When AegerPrimo shows up we can see about getting you an I.V. drip going. πŸ˜€

        • jazzlover

          Touche!

  • chukicita

    “The church is always trying to get other people to reform; it might not be a bad idea to reform itself a little, by way of example.”- Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad

  • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

    Look at this beautiful animal. I am in awe of him/her. (f5)

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      I’ve been watching the various cams since I messaged you. I could fall asleep happily to those noises πŸ™‚

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

        I got your email this morning. I’m like you, even when there are no animals on the cams I could listen for hours. So relaxing. πŸ™‚

    • Nice dolphin.

      • MostEthicalPimp

        That’s a porpoise, learn the difference!

        • MostEthicalPimp

          Quick little Jim Carrey Note. When I was a wee lad, okay maybe not so wee but plenty laddy nevertheless. There was rumor that Jim Carrey had gone into CC with another actor and sat in lobby for an hour J&D’ing. This was after the release of Pet Detective 2, I think or there abouts. Anyone know if it’s true? Anyway we were supposed to not look at Jim Carrey Movies because he was an SP. Very sad missed out on some funny movies.
          https://youtu.be/aVH2hV-nvAA?t=43s

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

        *snort*

        Let me get you some coffee. πŸ˜€

  • Tony Ortega

    New post is up

    • $cnMonkeyNut$

      Woo Hoo! πŸ™‚

  • Pepper

    The VM’s giving the indigenous people a locational and the VM boat are some of the most stagiest looking pics I’ve seen coming out of Scientology.