That was some Oscars last night, eh? By now you must have seen about a thousand different jokes about poor Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announcing the wrong Best Picture winner, and we laughed at just about every one of them.
But Moonlight‘s win over poor La La Land wasn’t the only big awards news of the weekend. Your proprietor and a couple of dozen others were also winners in a different sort of awards category thanks to the Church of Scientology!
Well, the truth is, we’ve seen this before. Once again Scientology is trying to fight back against a tidal wave of negative publicity by claiming that the people exposing its abuses are all a bunch of religious “bigots.”
The church unveiled a new website this weekend that does its best to pretend that Scientology has some kind of shared victim status with actual, you know, members of religious faiths who have been experiencing an uptick in discrimination and harassment.
What’s actually been happening is that more and more brave people whose families were ripped apart by Scientology are speaking up about their experiences, and more journalists are treating them with the respect they deserve.
But hey, thanks for the honor! The new website calls itself “Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination,” but it’s really just Scientology leader David Miscavige throwing a fit.
So let’s take a look at everyone who made the list of winners!
“Biased Media Propagandists”
“Hatemongers and Hate Bloggers”
Hey, let’s have some acceptance speeches!
Mike Rinder: Oh wow, what noble and honorable company to be in. Seems so fitting on Oscar Day to be recognized with induction into the Scientology Hatemonger Hall of Fame. Though it is a little sad they have overlooked some obvious choices — Louis Theroux, Steve Cannane, and Tom Tobin in the media category and Jeffrey Augustine, Nick Xenophon, and Mat Pesch in the hatemonger category. And they don’t even have a legal category for Ray Jeffrey, Ted Babbitt, Luis & Rocio Garcia and Laura DeCrescenzo… I am sure those who have been overlooked are disappointed, it’s probably just a clerical error. Perhaps there is going to be another induction coincident with the Emmy Awards or Pulitzers? Scientology loves handing out statuses. The difference is we didn’t have to buy these and they are far rarer. I would rather be recognized as a Scientology “hatemonger” than a discounted Scientology “humanitarian.” These sort of “anti” awards — like getting the KKK “black sympathizer” plaque — are a source of real pride. Thanks for letting me know.
Alex Gibney: What an honor! Like being attacked by Trump, who is inexorably infuriated by the truth, being named as a ‘bigot’ by the ‘Church’ of Scientology is like being named an ‘apostate’ or a hater by the Catholic League for exposing pedophile priests and how the church worked to cover their tracks. Oh yes, I recall: that happened too. The experience of making Going Clear was particularly gratifying because it put me in touch with thousands of ex-members who thanked me for helping to tell the world the truth about the malice and human rights abuses of this creepy tax dodge masquerading as a religion.
Lawrence Wright: I’m very honored.
Karen de la Carriere: This is a villainous group that destroys families, milks its flock for everything they’re worth, harasses, stalks, and uses gaslighting to intimidate. When such a group names one on a hate page, it is indeed an honor.
John Sweeney: I’m not a propagandist. I’m a reporter. If the Church Of Fear acted like a true religion I would stop. It doesn’t so: game on.
Bryan Seymour: It is humbling to be listed with a Pulitzer Prize winner, an Oscar winner and a senior BBC journalist. I am most grateful to be considered in the same class as Joe Childs. As always, I offer this pact with David Miscavige: When Scientology stops abusing people, I’ll stop reporting those abuses.
David Edgar Love: I’m actually feeling quite honored by making ‘the cut’ on DM’s website. I didn’t realize I had pissed Miscavige off to this degree. Perhaps Miscavige is a wee bit upset about the recent complaint I filed with the Canada Human Rights Commission… a pending federal case?
Claire Headley: One thing scientology knows well, whatever they do or say, I will continue to speak of my experiences no matter what. So congrats to them on another completely useless waste of money.
Stephen Kent: I thought that Trump invented fake news!
Phil Jones: Do I get a trophy for getting on this list?
Amy Scobee: I’m extremely proud to be counted along side of so many truth-tellers and fighters for justice.
Jefferson Hawkins: Well, it appears I am in good company! I think they are having trouble keeping up with all the “hate bloggers.” There are probably hundreds by now, they just picked some of the most obvious ones. Keep blogging!
HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25. Go here to start making your plans.
Scientology disconnection, a reminder
Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,676 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,779 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,273 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,313 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,025 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 492 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,610 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,780 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,100 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,075 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 431 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,733 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 840 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,242 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,115 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 696 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,201 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,445 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,554 days.
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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.
The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)
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