That was some episode of 20/20 last night, wasn’t it? We had a great time reading back the live-blogging our commenters engaged in last night. And we noticed that the break-out star of the program was Scientology attorney Monique Yingling. You loved her!
Here’s a sampling of how much Monique’s heartfelt, homespun wisdom went over here in the Bunker last night…
We’ve had the pleasure of being in Monique’s company. She was one of the 15 or 20 suits who showed up for one of the hearings in the Monique Rathbun lawsuit down in Texas. But she wasn’t there to defend the Squirrel Busters. She strictly works for her ecclesiastical champion, Chairman of the Board David Miscavige. And what a performance she put on for him last night!
We want to congratulate ABC’s Dan Harris and producer Miguel Sancho for that brilliant program. We met with Dan and Miguel several years ago, and it was clear they were ambitious about bringing home the big story about Scientology. We know how hard they and their team must have worked to put this hourlong package together, and it showed.
We also understand where Tampa Bay Times reporter Tom Tobin is coming from when he said that last night’s program didn’t really break new ground that wasn’t already plowed by him and Joe Childs in their epic 2009 series, “The Truth Rundown,” which first revealed David Miscavige’s tyrannical style and the allegations of his physical abuse of underlings.
But even if the program didn’t contain much in the way of revelations, it still packed a major wallop because of how well it was put together, and also because of its break-out star, Scientology’s most squirmy spokesperson yet, Ms. Monique Yingling!
We want to hear what parts of the show moved you the most, or had you howling. Let’s keep this thing rolling a bit longer.
UPDATE: We want to thank ABC Channel 7 producer Lisa Bartley for including us in this excellent piece on Laura DeCrescenzo and her lawsuit, which was seen in L.A. Last night after the 20/20 special.
Happy Birthday, COB!
Scientology’s supreme leader, David Miscavige, turns 56 years old today. We asked some of the people who used to know him, or were members in his organization, what birthday message they would give to him, if they could…
Jefferson Hawkins: “Although I’m not a Christian, I think I’d give him a nice inspirational Bible quote. Luke 12: 2-3: ‘There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be known in the daylight. What you have whispered to someone behind closed doors will be shouted from the rooftops.’
Tom Devocht: “I’d probably wish him a happy birthday, the best of luck, and let him know I don’t hate him or consider him an enemy. There’s enough hatred in the world as it is to hold on to grudges, fight over differences of opinions and beliefs. That doesn’t mean I trust him, but I know that, like any other ‘good Scientologist’ and contrary to its own ‘scriptures,’ Miscavige could never accept such a gesture from a labeled ‘SP,’ and its OK with me that it would just slightly irk him that I felt this way. I’m sure he’d rather I’d get all ‘SP’ about it and say nasty things about him but, oh well.”
Paul Burkhart: “It would certainly be different than the epic birthday poem I wrote for him about 4 years ago! Now I’m imagining that his exit plan is getting readied, because it won’t be long before it’s needed.”
Claire Headley: “Birthday message? None. I decline to communicate with evil sociopaths bent on destroying my family and thousands of others.”
Lori Hodgson: “Give me back my kids and give all the other broken families back their loved ones. Stop disconnection now for all of us and for your own family!”
Amy Scobee: “Karma is a bitch!”
E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.
Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated 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 L.A. 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
Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | 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 | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | 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