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Leah Remini’s Scientology series opens with a gut-wrenching story of ‘disconnection’

leahmike1b

[Rinder and Remini, on the case]

Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, the A&E series that begins airing Tuesday night at 10 pm, opens with Leah Remini talking directly to you against a black background.

It’s an unusual start for a show that wants to explain itself as it goes along. Throughout the first hour of the series, Leah narrates almost as much about how and why she’s doing the program as what’s happening on screen. We found this quality of self-awareness to be one of the episode’s strengths.

And in order to explain how we got here, Leah quickly fills in viewers on her background in Scientology, how she became disaffected, and how she left the church and then wrote a book about it, her bestselling 2015 memoir, Troublemaker.

But getting herself out of Scientology (with her family thankfully intact) didn’t end the questions she had about the organization that had treated her as one of its shining celebrities. (Cue fun archival footage of the King of Queens star giving earnest testimonials about Scientology at Celebrity Centre galas from the past.) Going public with her defection only put her in contact with many more people who had suffered from their association with the organization.

Publishing a book wasn’t enough. Even though she had spoken out, as had so many others just in the last seven years since an epic 2009 Tampa Bay Times series had opened a floodgate of coverage about Scientology, nothing has been done about the organization’s well-documented abuses, and the church continues to split apart families and bully former members who dare to speak up.

So Leah hooks up with her sidekick, the mellifluous Australian who was Scientology’s international spokesman, Mike Rinder, and the avenging duo set off to tell the tales of the victims Scientology has left in its wake.

Their first stop: The Pacific Northwest, where they speak with Amy Scobee and Mat Pesch, two former Scientology “Sea Org” members who are now out of the church and married to each other. Leah also has footage of interviews she did of Amy’s mother, Bonny Elliott, who describes the stunning choice Scientology forced her to make.

If you’ve read Amy’s book, Abuse at the Top, you know that she went to work for Scientology in 1978 at only 14 years of age. And that first year, she says she was raped by a 35-year-old married Sea Org member, who admitted it to his superiors — but the church, Amy says, swept the whole thing under the rug, not even informing her mother. Two years later, at 16, Amy joined the Sea Org herself, signing its billion-year contract. She would go on to become a high-ranking official in the organization, and even ran the Hollywood Celebrity Centre. Her duties included staffing Tom Cruise’s home with Scientologist workers to make sure that Tom was kept in the church’s influence as much as possible.

Like many other Sea Org members, Amy was eventually found deficient in some way, and she was then shipped off to the Rehabilitation Project Force, Scientology’s harrowing prison program. It was while in the RPF that she met Pesch, and she credits Mat with finally helping her escape Scientology entirely, in 2005. Four years later, Amy was part of the group of former top officials who spoke to the Tampa Bay Times for its series.

Meanwhile, her mother faced a terrible choice. As a perceived enemy of the church, Amy was declared “suppressive,” and that meant that Bonny would have to “disconnect” from her own daughter if she wanted to stay in the church. And Bonny’s number one motivation for remaining a member was that her husband Mark was still an enthusiastic Scientologist.

Bonny explains in heartbreaking detail how Scientology forced her to make a decision between her husband and her daughter — the two people she loved more than anyone else in the world.

It’s a gut-wrenching segment, and a strong way for Leah to begin her series.

We asked her, for viewers who are as affected by Amy and Bonny’s story as much as we were, what would you like them to take away from that experience? What are you hoping they do about the abuses of Scientology?

“I hope people thinking about leaving Scientology heed Bonny’s advice. And that was, don’t let Scientology or any religion get in the way of your family. I hope people who are considering leaving take the leap. Fight for your family members who are in. Get yourself out,” she told us.

“As for Amy’s story, hers isn’t the first I’ve heard of sexual abuse and the church not doing anything about it. I hope the government agencies get their heads out of their asses and start to look into these allegations of fraud, sexual abuse, and physical abuse. I can only do so much,” she added. “The fact that the church continues to victimize people is diabolical. They, their lawyers, their private investigators, should be ashamed of themselves.”

We think Scientology watchers, whether they’re newbies or oldtimers, will find this to be a surprisingly strong opening episode. We look forward to live-blogging the episode with you on Tuesday night.

(In the interest of full disclosure, we were interviewed on camera for a segment that may or may not be included in the latter part of the series.)

 
——————–

Aaron Smith-Levin talks Scientology with Mike Rinder

They’re back. Rinder and Smith-Levin have put together another video in their “Growing Up in Scientology” series. We asked Aaron for a rundown.

We talked about…

— What were you taught to believe about L. Ron Hubbard’s history that explained why he, and only he, was able to develop Dianetics and Scientology.
— Are Scientologists, as they move up the Bridge, simply being conditioned to be more like Hubbard?
— Did you grow up believing LRH could exteriorize from his body at will, and how did this affect your view of Scientology?
— What was your understanding of “Clearing the Planet” and how such a thing was supposed to happen?
— What were you taught to believe about homosexuality and what Scientology could do about it?
— Why has no one ever been expelled from Scientology for “ethical lapses”?
— What reforms have occurred as a result of former members speaking out about abuses?
— How does Scientology cover up sexual abuse of minors within the organization?
— Does the Church have a legal obligation to report sexual abuse of minors when such abuse is “confessed” in an auditing session?

 

 
——————–

Chris Shelton on ‘Scientology’

 
——————–

Brian Sheen on the fraud of Scientology

Here’s a second video from Brian Sheen, whom we first wrote about last year

 

 
——————–

HowdyCon2017

Go here to start making your plans.

 
——————–

3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on November 24, 2016 at 07:00

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, Kindle, and audiobook versions. 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

 

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  • Tony Ortega

    Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

    • I’m lucky enough to have an American branch of my family, and I’m on my way to enjoy the occasion with them. Everyone should spend time with their family when they feel like it, and no criminal organisation should be given power to rule over that (not even if the word “church” is written over the door).

      Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

      • Tracy Schmitz

        exactly, because any REAL religion/church/faith, the most basic basic principles are of love and family and forgiveness and humility and so on!…NO TRUE religion/church/faith would be against this! EVER!..

    • Thanks.
      Turkeys only have two legs so you’re good to go.

    • Robert Eckert

      At the top of my list to be thankful for, this painful year: understanding friends, many of them here.

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

        (((hugs)))

      • Jenyfurrrrr

        Robert – HUGE hugs to you! You’ve been a pretty amazing, welcoming & understanding friend here, too!

    • Tracy Schmitz

      and to your mr.ortega!

    • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

      You too Tony.

    • MrsLurksALot

      Happy Thanksgiving, Tony! I am thankful for the Bunker and for all your hard work.

    • Juicer77

      And to you!

    • Eliza Doolittle

      In my relatively short time on this site, I have been horrified, shocked, angered and dumbfounded at the awakening I’ve had to what is truly behind this ‘weird’ thing that is known as Scientology.
      I am angry. Really angry. Angry at what it’s done and what it continues to do.

      But what pulls my faith in humanity out of the toilet is the work that goes into exposing that.
      Without Tony’s dedication and reasoned, rational, intelligent and tenacious approach, the majority of these heinous crimes against decency would go unnoticed and unaccounted for.
      The good you have done and continue to do is incalculable.

      I’m not American but in the spirit of the day, I’m thankful that people like you exist.

      • LongtimeLurker

        Well said.

        You’re okay.

        ; P

        • Eliza Doolittle

          Back ‘atcha, Buddy

          😉
          xx

    • MarcabExpat

      The same to you and many more.

    • pollywog

      thake a day off today tony… you’ve earned it…

    • chuckbeattyexseaorg75to03

      Eternal thanksgiving thankyou to you for even taking up the Scientology world and being so unbelievably thorough like no journalist ever to stay on top of the Scientology subject/story, to date.

      Sea Orgers get some slack time on Thanksgiving, thankfully that cultural USA wonderful day has entrenched itself into Scientologist’s mindset, thankfully.

      Over the decades I was in the Sea Org, we had lots of excellent Thanksgiving meals, at least, and an extra 1/2 hour or so to enjoy and bloat. Time on post was always slacker, thankfully on Thanksgiving day, and if the stats were down, we still got our Turkey. Even on the RPF we enjoyed great leftovers.

      The great Sea Org cooks I recall: a) Les Platinsky for a very short time, Flag Land Base, 2) Ronnie Rathbun (no relation to Marty) and Gene Juss and Jim Wavel and even Arden Hansen 3) Carl Von Pfeil 4) the unparalled Sinar Parmen’s gourmet incredible meals (and some ex Int Base people know of the others at Int over the years …..

      At ASI, we had catered meal, and probably my all time most extravagent chow in my Scientology staffer duty.

    • Jenyfurrrrr

      Happy Thanksgiving Tony! Thanks for the community you’ve cultivated here, too! Hope you & yours have a fun day of family & food! (And leftovers for the kitties!)

    • Observer

      And to you!

    • wewantyourmoney

      Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! So grateful for family.

    • Mrs. V.

      Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    • Likewise!

    • Rick (“fReSh”)

      Happy Turkey Day to T and everyone else! Be safe for Black Friday as well, I’m off to get my son a new Playstation 4 controller, that is around 50% off at Walmart tonight… Then run back home as fast as possible for my Indianapolis Colts vs Steelers tonight on SNF (*no Andrew Luck but still should be a good game!)…
      Be Safe -&- Much Love Everyone! xoxoxo,

      **RICK in INDY**

      [GO COLTS!!!!!!]

  • Mary

    Wow. Chocked full today.
    I can’t wait for the docuseries. Looks great. Leah’s positioning on the Ellen show the day after Ellen received the freedom metal, was perfect positioning. I thought Leah did wonderfully on that show as far as relaying the message of the series and Ellen’s responses were perfect.

    Tony, thank you. I am thankful for you and what you have done to expose the abuses of the “church.”

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • madame duran

    FIVE DAYS LEFT (that’s enough time for Americans to digest their Thanksgiving dinner and get plenty of rest)!!!
    It’s also Thursday and 2 pm is coming. Sucks to be a Scientologist staffer/Sea Org member…especially on holidays.
    Happy Thanksgiving!!
    https://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/to?iso=20161129T22&p0=179&msg=Leah+Remini%3A+Scientology+%26+The+Aftermath+%28docuseries%29&font=slab&csz=1

    • MarcabExpat

      Thanks for the sobering reminder. I have a 2pm stat to get in today: 2pm is when the guests arrive and we all sit down to a huge delicious feast.

      TO ALL SO/STAFF: DON’T ROUTE OUT, JUST BLOW!

      • LongtimeLurker

        Everyone knows Marcabians don’t lie.

        Freeloader debt;
        – Unenforceable outside Scientology.
        – Illegal outside Scientology.
        – Irrelevant outside Scientology.

        Just blow. The world is waiting for you.

  • What’sup

    Have a great Thanksgiving my American friends.

  • shasha40

    Happy Turkey Day , Bunker fam !!! It’s going to take me a month to catch up !!! Lol As usual , TonyO , you da man !!! Really enjoyed your video , Brian . Chris , you’re always on point , love your videos . Can’t wait til Leah’s debut !!! Tick , tock tiny member, more holes in your damn coming … Lol

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    A full, feisty and festive Underground Bunker today. Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, home and abroad. Have a lovely day 🙂

  • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  • Tracy Schmitz

    hi everyone! happy turkey day (and the leftover weekend!lol!).. anyway, i’m hoping that this docu-series will feature MANY more “unknown” people? i’m worried that will be shown and only given the quote “usual suspects” or as the insidious thing that is scientology calls “the posse of lunatics” you know rathbun, rinder, scobee, headleys and so on… granted, all these people will be “new” to the majority who watch this show!…..i just want everything and everyone to be uncovered! i’m hoping that perhaps a list of ex-members will be scrolled slowly on the screen? and i’m hoping that as well “where is shelley” and “the fact of hubbard’s and miscavige’s OWN FAMILY denouncing it and them will also be included!… anyway just some thoughts for today!…

  • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

    Oooo stuff to watch when I get home. 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving all! XOXOX

    • Scott H

      Weather is incredible here in Bugtussle (Moultrie) 78 and clear. The youngins can play in the fields and not get underfoot. Yay!

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

        Foggy but warm here today. We should be able to send the kids outside too as long as it doesn’t rain. I’ve already offered to hang in the kitchen and wash dishes to avoid any political conversation (and to be near the good hooch lol). 😀

  • MrsLurksALot

    Happy Thanksgiving to the Bunker. May your day be filled with happiness, food and fellowship. Or, alcohol, whichever works best. And, kudos to Leah. I love her for not giving up. She will not go quietly into the night, haha. She is making DM shake in his tiny boots and for this I am thankful. Fear her wrath, CoS. f5 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9f388b8db3867029ee2021db32639e6c1606bf0bb1235e0824c73fc9a084050e.jpg

    • Juicer77

      Hee hee

    • PickAnotherID

      Hee! A nut like DM should fear the squirrels.

    • Scott H

      and his garden gnome shock troops

    • Robert Eckert
      • MrsLurksALot

        This is amazing! Thx for the share.

        “Maybe Howard Brookins Jr. will think twice before he criticizes squirrels again.

        In October, the alderman for Chicago’s 21st ward went on a public tirade about “aggressive squirrels,” griping that the furry critters kept eating through the city-supplied garbage cans.

        But Brookins had no idea just how “aggressive” squirrels could be. On Nov. 13, the alderman found himself in the hospital with a skull fracture after a squirrel leapt into the path of Brookins’ bike, wrapping itself in the spokes and causing him to flip over the handlebars, The Star Tribune reports.

        “I can think of no other reason for this squirrel’s actions than that it was like a suicide bomber, getting revenge,” he told the Tribune.”

        Fear the squirrel!

  • Juicer77

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Rasha

      You, too! ^_^

  • PickAnotherID

    While we’re waiting for the turkey to come out of the oven, have some pie…(f5)

    http://www.appletozucchini.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Thanksgiving-Pies-06-400×267.jpg

    And for Miscavige, 5 days…tick, tock….5 days…

    http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mcb2ztFyCk1qcqqpjo1_250.gif

  • Thanksgiving isn’t a thing in the UK – I probably wouldn’t have known it was today, if not for the comments here. However, any occasion that has the potential to bring people together is likely a very good thing, and that opportunity should be embraced.

    I imagine that many people confined to Scientology facilities and compounds are a little more quiet and thoughtful than usual today. Also, I should think that the exits are being watched a little more carefully – and even the watchers are being watched. Today’s celebration must be reminding them all of what they have lost.

    To those gathered around a Turkey – may your existing human relationships deepen, and may you discover new ones today. To those isolated from the world and each other, may you listen to your doubts, escape Scientology and join a real, fulfilling, community.

    • madge filpot

      When I was in the S.O…. Thanksgiving was “just another day”. Whilst it was recognized for the benefit of the public at the FH and Sand Castle who were there for services, we were all still on post and working.. so..other than maybe better food for dinner there was nothing special. Except the better food for dinner. lol… and for that, in retrospect, I am Thankful. Have a great day everyone.

  • chukicita

    There is some (real) research linking the act of being thankful to being content in life.

    It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from; you can find something to be grateful about, even if it’s just the rising of the morning sun and the promise of another day.

    I grew up with a perspective on Thanksgiving that is perhaps a little different. For some people, American Thanksgiving is a day of mourning. The dominant culture “tradition” of sharing and peace associated with this holiday came about much later, painted over a somewhat less altruistic narrative of fear and massacre.

    If this makes you squirm a little, sorry. I am certainly thankful today that there are people freezing up at Standing Rock, peacefully protecting the water that we all share, being shot at with rubber bullets and water hoses by American armed forces who are defending the interests of an oil company.

    Now, who wants a drumstick?

    • Draco

      Me please! You got some stuffing with that?

      • I once had a GF who suggested that we made a Zoo with stuffed animal as a theme park. I almost drove off the road on that remark!

        • Draco

          Real stuffed animals as in taxidermy?

          • Yes yes 🙂 perfect scam

            • Draco

              That would lower the overhead considerably!

            • exactly, one person in the box office (her) and another with a water hose (me)

      • chukicita
        • Rasha

          Better Holidays Through Chemicals! We’ve had some interesting growing pains, huh? ^_^

        • Frodis73

          OMG, I am terrified.

          • chukicita

            I’m pretty sure it’s a joke – but it’s kind of disturbing that it’s hard to tell, isn’t it?

            • Draco

              I was wondering about that! 😀

            • Frodis73

              LOL. I wondered…but I have seen some really weird things from the 50’s regarding food…it it hard to tell.

        • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

          This is hilarious. Snapped a pic of this on my phone to take with me today. 😀

        • Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack

          Seems to tie in with Scientology. From about the same time period, late ’50s I am guessing. And like Scientology it takes the pain away, simply, using modern methods. Everyone is a little richer through spray stuffing and the people who sell it get a whole lot richer. Hopefully, soon Scientology will be as dead as the turkey and the product used to stuff it. The ad even has a beautiful body router in the top right.

    • You are so right even that Standing Rock is so remote from me!

    • PickAnotherID

      Just to be clear, those “American armed forces” are area police and private security, not US military forces. And veterans aren’t happy about what’s going on either. From CNN:

      (CNN)On December 4, hundreds of veterans plan to “deploy” to Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota to join in protest against the planned Dakota Access Pipeline.

      The event, Veterans Stand for Standing Rock, is a call for veterans to “assemble as a peaceful, unarmed militia” to “defend the water protectors from assault and intimidation at the hands of the militarized police force and DAPL security.” The organizers hope to prevent progress on the construction of the pipeline as well as draw national attention to the cause.

      • chukicita

        Thanks for making that distinction – I wasn’t clear enough about that in my post.

        I am VERY grateful for Veterans Stand for Standing Rock.

        It is still unnerving that peaceful people are being hospitalized by corporate mercenaries with rubber bullets, concussion grenades and high-pressure water hoses in freezing weather, and local police stand by and do nothing to serve or protect them.

        • Frodis73

          Not only that, they seem to be lying about events and/or doing damage and blaming it on protesters. I love Obama, but I really wish he would do something about the whole thing.

          • PickAnotherID

            I noticed that too, about the “official” reports not exactly lining up with videos that were taken.

        • PickAnotherID

          If I can get my Doc’s okay to travel, I plan to be there.

          • chukicita

            A thousand blessings to you! But go prepared – according to my relations there, people are showing up unprepared for winter camp.

            • PickAnotherID

              I lived through several Maine winters, and still have my cold weather gear. I know their hearts are in the right place, but sometimes I wish people who don’t understand what they are getting into would just stay home and write letters to their Congress critters.

            • Frodis73

              You definitely have the experience to handle it then. I am thinking about going to the Million Woman March in Jan…the cold weather is not a positive for me. I am a baby when it comes to being cold.

          • Frodis73

            That is awesome. Like Chukicita said, bring lots of thermal underwear…and be prepared it they use those hoses again.

        • Draco

          I can’t believe that private security companies are allowed to get away with that! That is horrible.

          • PickAnotherID

            For some folks, it’s still “cowboys vs indians in the wild west” out there. For others, they don’t want ANYTHING or ANYONE standing in the way of possible jobs, and will do anything to make it happen.

    • Maybe the fact that there is evil in the world makes opportunities to aspire to something better all the more valuable.

      I suppose that depends on whether people take the principle behind the thing seriously, or
      not. Still… it can’t hurt.

      • chukicita

        When I feel overwhelmed by the awful things people inflict on each other, I take a lesson from Mr. Rogers’ mother and look for the people who are helping. In any kind of disaster, there are always people trying to help. That’s where the hope is.

    • downtherabbithole

      It is truly sad when corporate interest overrides the basic needs of the people.

      • ze moo

        Why, in all the election foofforrah, did no one bring up the use of Eminent Domain for purely commercial reasons? Taking one persons property so that someone else can make money on it would seem to be a no-brainer.

        • gtsix

          Because it is legal to do so now. Thanks Supreme Court!

          I hope the Lakota / Dakota peoples are successful, that pipeline deal is a joke.

  • PickAnotherID

    Hey! $cientology bunker monitors. What are you hanging around here for?? The hell with stats today, go be with your families and have a happy Thanksgiving. (f5)

    http://a2.files.biography.com/image/upload/c_fit,cs_srgb,dpr_1.0,q_80,w_620/MTI3NzY2OTMxNjY2MTE5Mjk5.jpg

    • Rasha

      The only stats that actually matter…

  • Draco

    Happy Thanksgiving all my American Bunkeroos! Hope your day is filled with love and lots of things to be thankful for.
    Dragon hugs all round! XXX

    • Rasha

      Such hugs, Draco! Very Thanksgiving to you!!!

      • Draco

        And to you, Rasha. I KNOW your table will look good today!

        • Rasha

          Hope so!!!

    • SarahDB

      Dragon hugs are the best!

      • Draco

        I know! We are surprisingly cuddly!

  • ONEpointONE

    Do Native Americans celebrate Thanksgiving? Curious about that. Anyway, I have no intention of missing Leah’s show and I doubt David Miscavige does either. Seeing his old friend and punching bag, Mike Rinder, on prime time television with an A-list celebrity will be gratifying in ways we can’t imagine. Leah’s $1.5 million lawsuit against the church for David’s letters is making excellent publicity for the show. David can be happy about that too. The Holidays are off to a great start.

    • SarahDB

      Here in Massachusetts the local Wampanoag people hold a National Day of Mourning in Plymouth where the pilgrims landed. Someday I want to attend. They do drumming, a sage cleansing, and smoke a peace pipe among other activities to bring awareness to their reality that it spelled doom for their culture.

    • chukicita

      Some do, some don’t. Please understand there are like 500 tribes and 200 languages, and there is great disparity in cultural practices among the indigenous people here. I was told a story about a massacre that was different than what we were told in school.

      Also, most people have existing traditions of giving thanks – such as Bread Dance or Green Corn – but it might be at a different time of year.

    • ze moo

      Iroquois nations have a Corn Festival to celebrate the harvest. Otherwise, they just watch football games and enjoy the day off like the rest of us.

  • Panopea Abrupta

    Somewhere in the bowels of ((($))) SuMP,
    OSA is doing triple overtime trying to avoid/soften
    the perfect storm of pain that is coming.

    Thursday – Thanksgiving for all my American friends
    Stats day for all those poor benighted souls struggling
    to maintain the pretense and the facade, struggling to
    satisfy a small undereducated nasty little narcissist.

    What a bumper post, Tony.
    Leah, Mike Rinder, Chris, Brian Sheen ….
    For this, I give thanks.

    Tick Tock, Dave.
    You suck at narrating lies –
    yesterday was more painful than a root canal without anesthesia.
    I’m not sure what you will do for a living when this all goes down –
    tallest dwarf in a small touring circus?
    The man with no feet?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dd8d4961338bfdd2a894893a4a4c24dee636560eabe945eed2806e3868b09307.jpg
    Have a wonderful day, all of you who celebrate Thanksgiving.

  • FredEX2

    Today, more than ever…I am thankful for Leah, Tony, Amy, Matt, Marc & Claire, Mike,….A&E, Ellen…every media source…and everyone who has bravely exposed the crimes of David Miscavige and the Cult of Scientology. My gratitude is boundless to all those who have given a voice and shared their courage so that the many who have been devastated by this shameful organization…calling itself a ‘religion’…can also begin to tell their stories and start the long road to healing in the aftermath…

    Happy Thanksgiving to Tony & all the Bunker…May each of you be blessed today…and always.

    F5
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/acfbce47ed0e53c1c974181a0a05dbf3bb88172ba60bf61c12c05fde6e8788c6.jpg

    • SarahDB

      Cats rule!

  • Newiga

    Rinder kicks ass and Leah is my spirit animal! Can’t wait to dig in to today’s article. This week has been crazy busy. I haven’t had time to recover from Amsterdam yet. 😀

  • Vaquera

    Bourbon Milk Punch to sip during meal prep ✔️
    Bourbon maple sour cream to top the sweet potato soup ✔️
    Bourbon chocolate pecan pie to nosh while watching the gridiron games ✔️

    Every holiday meal has a theme, n’est pas?
    Giving thanks for another year of virtual and corporal Bunker friendships.
    Gobble, gobble y’all !!

    • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

      I just went ahead and tossed some ham debris into the green beans, omg girl!! It tastes so good. My willingness to mix anything when I’m high has paid off with a new recipe. LOLOL!!

      Have a great day beautiful. 😊

      • Vaquera

        Debris is the secret ingredient! Also love those burnt ends at Mother’s.

        • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

          Yes….the burnt ends are food from heaven.

      • ReallyMGM

        I’ll be there in about 5 hours. What type stuffing/dressing do you have with your turkey?

        • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

          We’re having regular rice dressing and oyster dressing. I’m sure someone will also bring cornbread dressing but I won’t know that until we get there.

          Car leaves at 10:30 hon, we’ll save you a seat. 🙂

          • ReallyMGM

            Was wondering if it was oyster or cornbread. 😊 I was going to volunteer to bring some cornbread dressing to share.

            • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

              You can just come eat and not bring anything. There’s so many people I don’t think anyone would notice an extra person. LOL

          • ReallyMGM

            OT: guess who is on my bunkerball fantasy football team? HONEYBADGER!!! I didn’t realize it was him because he goes by his real name now…but he is still nuts.

            • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

              Super-talented guy. Watching him in college was incredible. I’m glad he was able to get himself together and stay out of trouble. If he stays on track, I expect he’ll be in the Hall of Fame one day.

              Hope he helps your FF score today. 😉

      • madame duran

        “ham debris”
        I’m gonna steal this expression and use it some day.

    • Newiga

      Can I haz bourbon? I wish I could have a taste of Thanksgiving food too. (No turkey for the vegetarian though). 😉

      • Vaquera

        I’ll set another place at the table. 🙂

        • Newiga

          I’ll hop on to the bus and be there in a jiffy. xxoo

          I wish I could!! *sigh*

      • chukicita

        I’d make you some 3 sisters (beans, squash and corn).

        • Newiga

          Sounds delish! Beans? GOOOOD! Squash? GOOOD! Corn? GOOOOOD! What’s not to love! xxoo

      • Vaquera

        Everything at our feast will be vegetarian except the kosher turkey.

        • Newiga

          I’m getting hungry just by reading this!

        • Sherbet

          Here, too. We have 2 non-meat-eaters and 1 vegan.

          And Mr.Sherbet and I both have colds. How festive is that? Our guests will be thrilled.

          I can’t even taste or smell anything.

          • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

            Happy Thanksgiving love. Hope you and Mr. Sherb are feeling better soon. ❤️

            • Sherbet

              Thank you, NOLA.

          • Vaquera

            Bummer. At least there’s football.

            • Sherbet

              Thanks, lady.

          • Juicer77

            Feel better soon!

    • Draco
    • Bourbon Milk Punch
      This one comes from the famed French 75 Bar in Arnaud’s restaurant in the French Quarter.
      INGREDIENTS
      1 ¼ ounces bourbon
      ½ ounce dark rum
      2 ounces milk (use cream or half-and-half for a richer drink)
      ⅛ ounce vanilla extract
      ½ ounce simple syrup
      Dash of grated nutmeg

      PREPARATION
      In a mixing glass three-quarters filled with ice, pour the bourbon, rum, milk or cream, vanilla and simple syrup. Shake vigorously until chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass. Dust with nutmeg.

      http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016276-bourbon-milk-punch

    • pollywog

      you and the bourbon have been close these last few days ‘eh mate? 😛

      • Vaquera

        My belly is already warm. 🙂

  • /bangs head on desk

    In recent Tom Cruise Katie Holmes news, it is revealed that Cruise is distancing himself from Scientology. The actor did not attend the cult’s high-profile opening of its new location in San Diego over the weekend.

    Although Cruise termed Scientology a “beautiful religion” in London recently, his absence raised speculations that he is secretly dissociating himself from it.

    http://www.morningnewsusa.com/tom-cruise-katie-holmes-news-regrets-joining-scientology-missing-suri-cruise-23124840.html

    I try to ignore those junk story hooks for recycling the stale “Is Tom leaving?” tosh, but couldn’t this time.

    • Tony Ortega

      Radar continues to sink. I learned that Jen Heger, the editor there who was doing good stuff on Scientology, left a few months ago for InTouch.

      • Ah, if I’d noticed it was recycled from Radar, I definitely wouldn’t have bothered.

    • ze moo

      All of that ‘Is TC leaving the clamheads’ stuff is either plants from TCs pr folks or just plain made up by the gossip rag.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      Many of us who were once True Believer $cilons went through a gradual process of becoming progressively more aware of how much of a con $cn truly is and how much of a fraud Elron has been throughout his entire adult life. Although it’s pretty much pure speculation at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Tom Tom is undergoing the beginning stages of exactly that same kind of gradual, but progressive disillusionment with the rigidly enforced and unmercifully policed belief system that is $cn. That would certainly be consistent with the fact that he’s been conspicuous in his absence from all of the major ribbon-yanking ceremonies and gala events for quite awhile now.

      All these tabloid news reports about TC supposedly leaving the cherch frame it as a black and white thing, as if he’s either still a fervent believer or out for good. In reality, there is another, much more likely intermediate position that he may be in at this moment. After being serially betrayed by his supposed BFF, lil davey, and being publicly humiliated when the story broke and was told and re-told by multiple credible first-hand sources, Tom Tom may very well be distancing himself from DM, while still believing in the tech.

      As a celeb whose public image directly affects his bottom line, there’s just no way that he’s not been kept informed about how his “beautiful religion’s” reputation has been suffering as a result of multiple, high-profile defections and insider tell-alls. And since he was once its most recognized spokesperson and ardent defender, that damage to the cherch’s public image directly translates to him as well. But quite beyond all that, to be so calculatedly set up and betrayed by his so-called best friend has to have sunk in and continued to fester in him for quite awhile now.

      So, it’s quite possible that Tom Tom is just undergoing his own unique variation on the typical pattern of gradual disillusionment with the cherch and the progressive distancing from it that most of us also went through. $cn’s very own 3rd BIGGEST Being in the universe doesn’t need to disavow and turn on the cherch all at once; he can distance himself from it gradually and, because of his wealth and status within the cherch, lil davey the savage has very little leverage over him. In fact, quite ironically, I’d say that TC actually has more leverage over that tiny tin pot tyrant than the other way around.

      All I can say there is: Use it Tom…do your damnedest to bring this mad dog to heel and end the abuses that the cherch, under his dictatorial control, has perpetrated against so many for so long!

  • nottrue
    • downtherabbithole

      I really enjoy the expression on her face in this pic. It’s that disbelieving “are you serious” look.

      • chukicita

        If a facial expression could have a Brooklyn accent, this would be it.

  • Aaron Smith-Levin

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone! My god, it’s been 8 months since the last video. Never meant to take that much of a break. I hope you guys enjoy the video. I’d like to keep them under an hour, but even with 1-hour videos, we never discuss even half of what we intend to. There’s going to be a lot to discuss over the next several months! Hopefully we can keep the videos coming more frequently.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      Thanks so much for continuing to make them, they’re a very valuable resource, and happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

      Those who were born into the cult (or had their family join up while they were young) have a unique perspective on the $cilon culture. While the cherch’s vile policy of disconnection is currently in the foreground of public attention, the flip side of that coin is the kind of enforced connection to the cherch that almost every young child whose parents are True Believer $cilons experiences. They get $cn rammed down their young throats and indoctrinated in it from a very young age.

      Still worse, even as young teenagers, they often become the prime target of predatory Sea Orgy recruiters who prey on them unmercifully by appealing to their naive altruism and lie through their teeth about how things actually are for staff members in the cult . Burdened by a lack of formal education and a young mid stuffed to overflowing with the infallibly nutty Word of Elron, it’s a wonderment that kids raised in the cult who go on to join the Sea Borg ever get free of it to enjoy a normal and fulfilling life. The fact that many have is a testament to human resiliency and courage, as well something to be thankful for today!

      You and your extended family experienced both sides of that evil coin: Enforced connection and indoctrination as a youngster and the long nightmare of disconnection, involving multiple family members over years ( http://tonyortega.org/2014/04/18/the-rising-business-star-his-mother-and-scientologys-attempt-to-rip-them-apart/ ) . Here’s to the hope (clink, clink) that this coming year will see the diabolical nature and true evil of $cn, under lil davey the savage’s sadistic and tyrannical leadership, fully exposed to the public and young folks everywhere inoculated against its spread!

  • madame duran

    A suggestion for Aaron Smith Levin (and Chris Shelton, Jeffrey Augustine…oh heck, ANYONE) for future videos:
    In your YouTube descriptions, could you PLEASE post time markers for each discussion segment? Using today’s video as an example, you would indicate where along the time frame you begin discussing each summary point you mentioned (so at 11:56, discussion starts about Scientologists conditioned to become more like Hubbard). I don’t always have the time nor have the desire to sit and listen to an hour-long video. If I have a spare 10 minutes or so during a work day, I’d like to jump ahead to the part(s) I really want to hear. It also saves you the trouble of needing to break down your videos into tinier segments. Just a thought.

    • Aaron Smith-Levin

      Good idea! I just added time stamps to the video description. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • WOG with Attitude

    Whew! What a post! I am very thankful to Tony and all who expose the truth about Scientology.
    Thank you all! You are saving lives!

    Refresh F5

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/347703f0a76e1546a3118bb246dce25cda8a7ec5229fbfb58023b12e4395a662.gif

  • nottrue
    • Nothing like a little vitriol on a holiday.
      Keep it classy Kirstie.

    • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

      Always good to see the “Spirit of The Holidays” come forth on Thanksgiving morning. 🙄

    • ONEpointONE

      A VERY funny reply to Kirstie who hasn’t been in a good mood for a long time. Poor thing is so grouchy. She hitched her wagon to the wrong star.

      • Chewkacca

        She needs to get laid. Being the bitchy, irritable, overweight, unfriendly harridan that $cn has turned her into, that’s very unlikely. Any volunteers? AAROOOOOO…..squeak!

    • Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack

      She has beautiful features, wealth and talent. I know that all kinds of things can go wrong in a lifetime but, really, those dealt far weaker hands than she rarely show the cruelty she displays there.

      • Chewkacca

        Remember her from Cheers? She was so NICE. Friendly, good looking, beautiful long hair, understanding of other people….. now look at her. $cientology builds beautiful bodies, I mean beings. WAAAROOUNK!

    • Harpoona Frittata

      Krustie, last of $cn’s celeb attack dogs, largely confines her efforts to confront and shatter suppression to Twitter these days and appears to spend much of her day drinking, then authoring idiotic tweets (like this one), and blocking those who savage her lame ass for doing so.

      Oh Krustie, there’s so little for you or any other has-been $cilon celeb to be thankful this holiday season, with Leah’s series set to air and 47x more blocked “fuckwits” than you have actual followers on Twitter…so, WHO’S the real fucktwit here!?

    • Mary

      Real spiritual.

  • Vaquera

    Thanksgiving snow coming down! Channeling Rockwell’s holiday Saturday Evening Post covers.

  • PickAnotherID

    Later folks. Doorbell’s going crazy, which means the in-laws and out-laws are arriving

    • Draco

      Enjoy!

  • MissCandle

    My first Thanksgiving without my dear mother.
    I am thankful to her for many things, including that I know how to put on a delicious feast.
    For anyone who has disconnected from their family, please call them today.
    Love and peace to all.

    • nottrue

      First one without my Dad….Know how it feels…..Peace and love to you

      • ReallyMGM

        Hugs to both of you.

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

        Woke up thinking about my brother. Sending love to you both. ****hugs****

    • downtherabbithole

      My heart breaks for you and all others who have endured the COS abuse of disconnection.

      My prayer is that one day very soon, everyone is reconnected with ALL their family members to enjoy a day of thanks that many of us take for granted. Myself included.

  • ze moo

    Is $cientology a ‘religion’? By current definition, yes. Why would Lron publish the included other wise? F5
    A better question is does $cientology provide any public benefit? No, any apparently ‘good’ things the clampires does is just window dressing.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6b662b7bb27ef03d8ee0f81e86d19ab80185a294fe26424553b9c73d1d633de2.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/566ef47b6a8f5120ddecffc68823c097481818e6d17db6e64fe3ed9c19dc8b7c.jpg

    • he he… pretty sure scios was spending most of a week to reenact that picture at the bottom

      • ze moo

        The first pic always makes me giggle. Not only does Lron have something really weird going on with his loin cloth, but he has a thumb stuck in a jar. “Will some help me get my thumb unstuck?”

    • Harpoona Frittata

      Hahahaha…what a walk down memory lane! I sure wish I still had a copy of that Advance 27 issue! In his classic book, “Hymn of Asia,” Elron asked, “Am I Maitreya?” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maitreya )

      No, you delusional huckster, you weren’t the embodiment of loving-kindness and the next incarnation of the Buddha; you were a megalomaniac con man whose only legacy was the unfortunate survival of the bizarre meme disease known as $cn!

      What we’re thankful for this Thanksgiving is that $cn is increasingly being seen throughout the world as an abusive cult of greed and evil, and its tyrannical leader, lil davey the savage, as a disgraced despot whose crimes and massive human rights abuses should have toppled him from power and landed his tiny, misanthrope ass in jail a long time ago.

  • nottrue
  • Rummage, rummage… Ah, here it is:

    Butternut squash, peeled, cut into wedges. (You can cut it like fries or potato chips if you like.)

    Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a bag, a teaspoon of garlic, a teaspoon of curry paste, a teaspoon of paprika, salt and black pepper, a handful of green pumpkin seeds. Add the wedges. Close, shake and generally mush it about.

    Preheat an oven to 425F. Lay the stuff out on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Cook for 40 minutes, turning halfway. Good, and I’m not even a squash person. Feel free to change or go heavier on the spices.

    This year I used a flat-bottomed bowl to mix, because that baggie will smell of garlic and curry forever.

  • chukicita

    Looking forward to watching the videos!
    I’m so thankful for this Bunker.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c9ef6f8a827bbe7c91aa18cb8af888854fb19129ad3a11e16295cfe6586a0083.jpg

    • Rasha

      Stealing this…. ^_^

      • Rick (“fReSh”)

        LoLz, me too.. Gotta share to Facebook.. <3

  • Newiga

    I know it’s been a tough year for US Bunkerites with the elections, the related drama and all. That’s why I want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving and send you all positive and warm thoughts. Enjoy the food and the atmosphere. Be thankful for the little things. I know I am. ^_^ F5

    http://fyf.tac-cdn.net/images/products/large/BF272-11KMP-TP.jpg

  • nottrue
  • Ann B Watson

    I am thankful for Tony and all of the many faceted amazing posters here.I have all my dvrs ready to record & think the black background for the opening segment is Brilliant.Happy Thanksgiving may all our wishes and dreams soar ever higher.💘

    • Juicer77

      Happy Thanksgiving Ann!

  • downtherabbithole

    The Mad Hatter (that would be the husband) was just removed from the “thankful list” when asked “Your going to dust & clean the floors right?”

    No sweetpea, you can find the mop in the broom closet and the dust rags in the cupboard. Have fun with that.

    • Scott H

      Damn straight

    • Juicer77

      That’s my kind of answer!!

  • Kim O’Brien

    the word has spread far and wide that i can’t cook . I was asked to bring grapes to dinner .

    Happy Thanksgiving to all of you …and thank goddess that we all get to have more than grapes for dinner

    • downtherabbithole

      Grapes to wine works for me

    • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

      We already have the person who can’t cook, she brings a no-bake cheesecake every year, so I can’t steal that spot. Damn, I’d love to just have to bring grapes. Hehehe!!

      • ze moo

        Throw some canned fruit into jello and you’re a gourmet cook.

        • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

          I wish, unfortunately I cooked for my in-laws early in my relationship with my husband. I’ve been busted for years. And I never get out of bringing something, that slot is taken. LOL

      • Kim O’Brien

        last year was rolls . i burned them . thus …grapes . I do the dishes though …that has to count for something 🙂

        • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

          It does! The kitchen sink will be my happy place this year. It’s how I plan to avoid all conversation that has anything to do with politics. Gimme those dishpan hands! 😀

          • Kim O’Brien

            we usually have around 25 ppl at the table . this year ….5. Not even gonna bother .

            • Scott H

              We should have about 20 this year with our youngest bringing her new beau who has no earthly idea of what he’s in for. I’m quite sure politics will dominate the before, during and after conversation so I shall be dining at the kid’s table, where the intellectual level is possibly higher and the discussions certainly quieter.

            • Kim O’Brien

              bring coloring books …:)

    • gtsix

      That’s what I’m bringing! Crushed fermented grapes and water with fermented barley and hops.. (I can cook, but I also have good taste in grapes and barley).

    • Vaquera

      Cheers Kim. I’m thankful that you are coordinating HC17. xo

      • Kim O’Brien

        i’m looking forward to seeing you again !

    • flyonthewall

      concord grapes are my fav

      • Kim O’Brien

        oh god …now it’s possible that i will get the WRONG grapes ??! next year …they will leave me in charge of water

        • gtsix

          Tap or bottle? Fizzy or flat? Mineral or herb induced? From which spring? What do you mean you don’t know!

        • L. Wrong Hubturd

          Next year a box of donuts. Can’t go wrong there.

  • Kay (aka Nasty Lady)
  • gtsix

    Yeah a Mike and Aaron video! Love these.

    Got the dvr all set for the show. Mike and Leah running around the USA… this is gonna be good.

    I hope all have a wonderful day. Eat, drink and be loved. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Simi Valley

    Thankful for all who relentlessly shine a light on this slimy cult, and for having escaped and found a life afterwards.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ3Bb4UsXhU

  • Mat Pesch

    Excellent presentation, Brian. Clear and spot on.

  • Vaquera

    Fresh kale chips. I forgot to take a picture while in the garden brushing snow off of the leaves. f5

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/13a240e592e1697a49855920356f50b3001318d8f87b727fcecf575ab7d79c0b.jpg

    • Newiga

      You must be my culinary soulmate! Kale chips are my favorite!

    • flyonthewall

      those don’t look like chips to me, looks like leaves

      • Vaquera

        Flora chips

        • flyonthewall

          they come in cool ranch flavor?

          • Vaquera

            Nacho

    • daisy

      This in a nutshell is why you look like you do and why I Look the way i do

    • L. Wrong Hubturd

      Shortly after we met, my lady made some kale salad. We joked that if i survived the taste and she survived the after effects, we might be meant for each other. It’s now called the “relationship salad”.

    • Juicer77

      Mmmm… Kale

  • Lousy Ratatouille

    Leah Remini played many parts and now she is best as HERSELF.

  • SHANA MARIA VERGHIS

    What a bunch of creepos. I’ve already heard a lot of horror stories about mind controlling the naive and sucking their souls. I like Leah. She’s a chatterbox like me.

  • Phil Jones

    A big Happy Thanksgiving hug to our Bunker family. Thank you for being part of our lives. Love to you all.

    • Ann B Watson

      Thank you Sid.Love to you both.Happy Thanksgívíng.💖

    • gtsix

      Happy Thanksgiving Mr. Dad Jokes. Love and hugs to you and Willie. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your lives. Xx

    • Observer

      I hope next year you’ll be celebrating it with all of your family.

      • Phil Jones

        I have no idea what that is like. Since the kids went in the Sea Org over 20 years ago they were never allowed to come home for any Holiday, let alone Thanksgiving. It would be nice to experience it though.

        Edit to add: Actually there was one Christmas some years ago when I pushed (hard) and they were going to allow the kids to visit for the Holiday. I bought tickets for them and Michael and his wife made it. But at the last minute I got a call from Emily and she wasn’t allowed to go. So, one Christmas in over 20 years.

        • Frodis73

          Hugs to both of you…I choose to believe you will experience that with your kids…soon too.

        • Observer

          It’s not always a Hallmark card–I’m half-dreading dinner this afternoon because there is 100% guaranteed family drama looming–but at the same time, there’s nothing quite like being with them.

          ETA: grooooaaannnn, I just remembered the election. Half are diehard Trump supporters, while the rest of us…well, I stay out of the political discussions. I may end up hiding in the basement.

    • Juicer77

      ❤❤

  • Observer

    Happy Shanksgiving, COB! (see, ’cause Leah is slipping the knife in…nvm)

  • Jenyfurrrrr

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    Among the things for which I am thankful, to find a group of intelligent people (friends!) online from whom I’ve learned SO much, who proved awesome support during hard times w/Post Partum Depression! Many of you checked in on me CONSISTENTLY and since I was hiding at home for months – it helped in ways I cant describe. That’s just one of many blessings I’ve experienced through here! May you all have a wonderful day w/people close to your heart!

  • Dee Findlay-DeElizabethan

    I join everyone today with Thanks for what all we have to be thankful for.

  • flyonthewall
    • Observer

      Thankful you’re not, or jealous you’re not?

      • flyonthewall

        def thankful. This is just gross, people think they’re in ancient Rome or something, they have problems

        • That’s Bring-On-The-Asteroid level awful. And could they have chosen a more racist photo? White people, fully dressed picking bits of food off of an utterly objectified African American woman who is lying, vulnerable. Ancient Romans would be embarrassed, and slaves were little more than appliances to them.

          • flyonthewall

            well, it’s art don’t you see? The dark skin contrasts with the red watermelon and green kiw….yeah it’s bad

        • Observer

          I was being facetious, and I agree

    • daisy

      God i hope they dont*t serve the hot dishes on her. Emergency rooms are always busy on the holidays

    • madame duran

      This photo is just wrong on several levels. Have these people no shame or awareness how this comes across (especially in this racially charged climate, post-election)?

      Edited: just noticed Artoo45’s comment.

  • Lousy Ratatouille

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Have a great family dinner and don’t forget the wine.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/581afdf1aae3e71fc44c7b8f7227b5ddd61e696a567a036d001c80c9a5ff9cd1.jpg

  • Robert Eckert
  • Eivol Ekdal

    I am having Skype turkey.

    • Observer

      Mmmmm, digital

    • ExCult.Jan

      Pairs well with your favorite adult beverage.

  • Tony Ortega

    Really enjoying the Thanksgiving cheer happening today in the comments. We have a little time before the Underground Bunker turkey, properly brined, goes into the oven, so we will plague you with a little reminiscing.

    Nothing will compare with our early Thanksgivings, of course, but certainly the most memorable and somewhat magical Thanksgiving of our more recent years occurred in 2012. We had been in Texas and California, filming with the UK Channel 4 crew that was making “Scientologists at War.” There was plenty that we filmed which did not make it into that very good documentary. Ultimately, producer Danielle Clark and director Joseph Martin decided to focus the narrative on Marty Rathbun’s battle with the church, which made sense. But we also shot scenes in other places and about other people. In particular, one day we spent time with Tory Christman at a picket of the Pasadena org, which was fun. And it worked well for us, because we had plans to go down the road to our mother’s house for Thanksgiving.

    Then it dawned us, these three British filmmakers we’d been spending weeks with — Martin, Clark, and Michael Simkin — had no plans for the holiday and were stuck in California staying in crappy hotel rooms. So we asked them how they felt about coming home with us for a turkey dinner. They agreed, and mom was happy to have them.

    What a wonderful and unexpected treat that was for all of us. The two young upstarts, Joe and Danielle, and their more veteran colleague, Michael, whom we had bonded with almost instantly, learning about the American tradition of stuffing ourselves, while my mother and stepfather quizzed them about their work and their lives back home. It was delightful.

    Well, a turkey awaits the oven. Have yourselves a fine feed with your own loved ones, and thank you again for making the Bunker a part of your lives.

    • Newiga

      Happy Thanksgiving, Tony! Thank you for doing what you do!

    • Eivol Ekdal

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and your’s Tony 🙂

    • Tony Ortega
    • Phil Jones

      Thank you Tony. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

      • ExCult.Jan

        Sending hopeful wishes to you and Willie that your kids will realize one day soon what they’re missing out on and call you.

        Grateful you have each other and grateful for the loving work you do to crush the anti-family cherch.

    • daisy

      What a lovely holiday story. Your mom is a hero for making that dinner stretch.

    • Baby

      That is a sweet story Tony. I’m sure it’s one Thanksgiving that they will never forget.

    • ExCult.Jan

      Thanks for all you do, Tony. And grateful to have found this Bunker community. Now off to cook cranberries.

  • Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you.

    • Eivol Ekdal

      You are welcome.

      • Eivol Ekdal

        Just kidding Dodo, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Todd Tomorrow

    It took Brian 45 years to get out. Good lord, thankfully he did.

  • Baby

    Sharing Bunker Love with all of you BunkeRues today.. love Baby.. f5

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bc1810260d78f02530763d68a3a162d3440c11dfb69cd97c171994c7e52ccbaf.gif

    • daisy

      Happy Thanksgiving to you Baby. I hope you are having a good day. I love this hamster , i was trying to post it last light but well me and computers.Wishing you lots of turkey and pie in the near future.

      • Baby

        Thanks Daisy.. You, Mama and fat Beagle too. Gorgeous here in Florida.

        All you have to do is save as .. ( right click) and it will go to your downloads)
        I ate a lot of pie last night. hahahha.. ox baby

    • Vaquera

      Xoxo

    • Juicer77

      Happy Thanksgiving! ❤

    • Rasha

      KITTEH BABEH!!! Om nom nom nom nom nom…..

      Very Thanksgiving, Babeh! ^_^

    • Newiga

      Happy Thanksgiving, Baby! xxoo

    • Missionary Kid

      I hope you’re feeling good while you munch today.

  • Observer

    Time to get ready…love to all Bunkeroos, especially those who are spending today alone.

    • Rasha

      Bunks ain’t never alone. =^_^=

  • TheMirrorThetan

    Happy Gobble Gobble Day. 🦃🦃🦃

  • flyonthewall

    I am also thankful I was never in a cult. My mom told me that when I was an infant my dad told her he wanted to join some cult and live on their compound. True story. As a kid he would always take us to weird services run by cults. I remember one where everyone would talk super fast bc the holy spirit was going through them or something. I know Pentecostals do that but I don’t think that’s who they were. I distinctly remember they would always talk really fast even in normal conversation. There was also a time when my dad would have pictures of weird people on the walls and he explained to me they were so-n-so from the planet Venus and could transport themselves to anywhere in the galaxy etc. I would just be like, “Ok”. Also true story.

    eta – thankfully, he was a dabbler and would never remain interested in one group or thing for more than a few months at a time.

  • Vaquera

    Update from our Thanksgiving kitchen:
    T minus 5 minutes…time to take the stuffing out of the oven.
    Damn. The oven wasn’t on. Only residual warmth from the turkey bake.
    Reset clock. T minus 30 minutes.

    • Rasha

      …aaaannnnddddd sip. I have a small, cozy dinner tonight at a friend’s house (her daughter is making her very first Thanksgiving Dinner), and then tomorrow is actually the huge event at my place.

      So, I gotta get started on the deep-fried, breaded mushrooms and wasabi dipping sauce… Plate to pass, doncha know….

  • Jimmy3

    I am thankful for the people who cool pies in window sills. I know these cartoon people are out there somewhere.

    • Rasha

      Do you find them by floating in by the nose on aroma trails?

      • Jimmy3

        Shhhh! Don’t tell them how to do it!

        • Rasha

          I MEANT GOOGLE!! DO YOU GOOGLE THEM???

  • A wonderful post (that I won’t be able to delve too deeply into until tomorrow) for the holiday. I don’t need to remind anyone here that there are hundreds, if not thousands of indies, exes and still-ins who are separated from their loved ones on this most family-oriented holiday. Cheers to our proprietor and all the Bunkeristas, Bunkeroos, (Bunkerues too), and Lurkers around the world. I deeply appreciate the strange and wonderful family that has gathered like grit to make a pearl.

  • Happy Thanskgiving everyone. My latest installment on the Scientology book deconstruction is up but more importantly, I also wanted to let you all know that I also got a heads-up from Leah about her show and saw an advance of the first episode. I’ll be posting a video about it on Monday to do a detailed talk and review but here are some thoughts I can contribute to today’s post:

    Everything Tony said here is spot-on – it’s very good. I was actually surprised because it’s better than I thought it would be. It’s truthful about not only disconnection but how Scientology itself is put together and how it works. It could be more hard hitting but the important thing is that it makes an emotional connection with a really difficult story of disconnection that anyone watching is going to relate to. I knew and worked with Bonnie Elliot, Amy’s mom, when I was in the Sea Org – she was the “Flag Rep” at the Seattle Org – and I was really saddened when I heard that she had passed but I didn’t know any of the backstory or what had happened with Amy until much more recently.

    What Leah has done with this show is setup a showcase for what Scientology is really all about and the damage it inflicts on its members. It’s not just a “tragedy of the week” show where you are assaulted with a slightly different look at a disconnection story you’ve already heard about. This show is deeper and much more personal than that. The way Leah introduces their stories and the way they are laid out connects the viewers with them on a personal level that I’ve only seen before in Gong Clear. You get a look behind the glossy ads and brand marketing of scientology.org and the human tragedy of ruined lives and broken homes really comes through.

    There are a couple of criticisms of the show’s layout that I have but these are very small and I’ll go over those in my video on Monday. I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone here thinks of the show on Tuesday and I’ll be around for the live blogging. Again, happy T-Day everyone! Stuff your faces!

    • Juicer77

      Happy Thanksgiving, Chris!

  • Xenu’s son.

    Off topic.today Battlefield Earth(BE)”The Scientology funded movie” no1 worst of all times in ever.BE.It easily outclassed
    21: Striptease 2 .24%.Rotten Tomatoes
    20.The Love Guru.24%RT
    17.Freddy got fingered.23%RT
    1.Battlefield Earth:3% RT.
    Rathbun in an interview called Battlefield Earth “DM’s [David Miscavige’s] baby, from day one”.According to Rinder and Rathbun, Scientology was deeply involved in the film’s development. Rinder and Rathbun visited Miscavige’s office daily to review daily cuts of the film over the several months of the movie’s development, and Miscavige called and critiqued director Shapiro’s directing via phone

    • Xenu’s son.

      Rathbun in an interview called Battlefield Earth “DM’s [David Miscavige’s] baby, from day one”. According to Rinder and Rathbun, Scientology was deeply involved in the film’s development. Rinder and Rathbun visited Miscavige’s office daily to review daily cuts of the film over the several months of the movie’s development, and Miscavige called and critiqued director Shapiro’s directing via phone every single day.https://ccoxportfolio.wordpress.com/2016/06/11/battlefield-earth-scientologys-failed-pr-movie/

  • Rick (“fReSh”)

    P.S. = Excellent video Aaron!

  • DoveAlexa

    Uuuhhhh…. I’m a Canadian living in the UK so Happy Thanksgiving but since I can’t share my turkey have this instead?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZzPxSzUvxM

    • Missionary Kid

      Thank you.

    • Missionary Kid

      That must be an L. Ron composition.

  • Robert Eckert
    • Frodis73

      Isn’t that page great? I was reading the reviews this am. Amazon snark against Trump is always welcome.

  • Cosmo Pidgeon

    Happy Thanksgiving . Thank you all for being here and Tony for the work you do. Both are life saving.

  • Thanksgiving classics:

    Scientology Pals Kicked In $50,000 Toward U.N.’s Big Elephant Statue February 7, 1999, Julie Lipper, New York Observer

    Was the real story lurking behind the two-foot-long bronze penis? If you haven’t heard about the two-foot-long bronze penis, you were perhaps out of town just before Thanksgiving, when there were some tabloid guffaws over the erect male sex organ protruding from a 30-ton bronze elephant, unveiled Nov. 18 on the grassy lawn of the United Nations. The elephant, which was cast from a live, sleeping pachyderm in Kenya by Bulgarian sculptor Mihail, was a gift from Kenya, Namibia and Nepal. But while the 100-odd onlookers listened politely to Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, and shot glances at the rough beast and its evident arousal, some in the crowd found something more provocative when they turned over their lavish program booklets and found, in large gold letters, a quote from L. Ron Hubbard, the late founder of the Church of Scientology. It read, “Man has reached the potential capacity to destroy the planet. He must be pushed on up to the capability and actions of saving it. It is, after all, what we’re standing on.”

  • Jimmy3

    Internal temperature of 1600 degrees? This can’t be right

    • Rasha

      Well, taste it and see!

  • Rasha

    Very wishes of happiness to all – Bunks, lurkers, UTRs, even you who are counting down the next 40 minutes and dare not express your questions. May you all have the most fulfilling of holidays. Rasha has two full Thanksgivings – one to attend, and one to host – plus the Bunker – and is so thankful to have so much, not least of which is my family here. Luv!

  • Happy Thanksgiving to your all – I just have to post this odd OSA op advise, in case you like pizza.

    3. Stay away from harassment actions that are only for the sake of doing
    channels or revenge. ie: Sending pizzas from every Pizza delivery
    restaurant. These basically have been unsuccessful as they do not
    achieve any real effective result, except for letting the WHO know
    that he is under attack. There may be times when 50 pizzas every day
    being sent to a WHO would be effective, but this would be in such a
    case where the WHO was restimulated heavily by seeing pizzas,
    smelling pepperoni or seeing pizza delivery boys, etc.”

    So now you know 🙂

  • Willie Jones

    Thank you Tony for this awesome blog (which I anticipate every morning) and thank you bunker family for being funny, inciteful, supportive and a part of my daily life. I don’t post much but I definitely pay attention. Happy thanksgiving to all. Leah and crew, you are kicking butt! I love it!