In January, we told you about Bernie Headley’s determination to defeat Scientology’s disconnection and be reunited with his daughter, Stephanie. That story helped us figure out which city Stephanie is living in today, which is at least a comfort, Bernie tells us, but now we have even better news: Once again, his cancer appears to be in remission.
It was Bernie’s story that inspired us to start our “Disconnection reminder” at the bottom of each post that counts the days that some Scientology families have been split apart. We update it every day, hoping we can begin marking when disconnection is defeated and these families can reunite.
And now, we have an announcement. We’re pleased to make known that Bernie Headley will be our Special Guest of Honor at this year’s HowdyCon 2017 in Denver June 23-25.
And more news: Our little convention will also feature actress Cathy Schenkelberg, who will give us a preview from her one-woman show, Squeeze My Cans!
And Claire Headley is going to present a portion of a spoken-word project that she’s been working on, about growing up in Scientology. Oh my.
You can’t afford to miss this event. And there’s no charge for the event itself, only the price of dinner on Saturday night, which is $40. We’ll have informal events on both Thursday and Friday nights as well for the early arrivers.
Now, hang on, what’s this “HowdyCon” anyway? It’s just a get-together for people who read this website. In 2015, when your proprietor was on the road for our book tour, we were asked by a reader why we were visiting so many cities. We quipped that we were trying to figure out which town was best for a convention. That off-hand remark took on a life of its own, and soon our readers were voting where to hold a meet-up. Cleveland was chosen, and that’s where about 50 of us got together last year for three days of boozy fun. We named it after Steven Cox, a commenter who went by the name “Captain Howdy,” who is greatly missed.
It’s not an academic conference, and we’re not trying to sell you anything. Just come on up to Denver and hang out with us. Let’s watch Claire and Cathy perform, and shake Bernie’s hand and wish him continued good health.
Sneaky, sneaky Scientology!
Does anything say “expansion of the world’s fastest growing religion” like trying your best to hide from the public and press the opening of a multi-million-dollar building project in the country’s second biggest city?
How many years have we followed the fundraising dreams of “Her Royal Governness of the Vast Valley Territory,” and those ambitious ladies who were selling doorknobs — like six years or something, right? Six years we’ve been following the fortunes of the Ideal Org project in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, and now they’re trying to open it up without us noticing?
Our various tipsters have been telling us that Scientologists are being begged to come to the grand opening event, but they have to call in and get details, including the date and time.
And now, one of our sources inside the church confirms for us that those calls are telling them that the event is THIS SUNDAY. Come on, Dave, after all these years watching Nancy Cartwright and her friends suffer and sweat, you didn’t want us to have some correspondents come over to gaze upon your good works? Oh, pshaw.
Bonus items from our tipsters
Actual caption: “Dr. Bernard Fialkoff with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer at a UN event today in which they both spoke on gender equality and other cultural issues. Dr. Bernard Fialkoff also presented on the Drug Free World program in which he sponsors and is President in New York.”
Actual caption: “Tracy, I am on Solo Nots in Los Angeles (Glendale, actually). I am on several of the Scientology ‘secret’ groups…(and oh, how I hate use of such a word!) i am desirous of using these sites to promote a security device I developed while at Flag. (I’ve done a lnumber of security systems for people on the level over the years) and although I have had comm with the head of Flag Materials Security and got her blessing, I have a situation where I don’t want just ‘anyone’ to know about it, but want all those who are/may become qualified for Solo Auditing to be info’d about it. So, I don’t know if your group is even appropriate, so I am comming this way rather than/before your standard steps. let me know your response, and I’ll include a device photo for data. Thanks, Bobby McGee”
Actual caption: “Had an amazing #Interview with the talented Jim Ross Meskimen the #Director of the #BattlefieldEarth audio book Galaxy Press. I had such good time. Love working with Jim.” (Is Jim wearing what we think he’s wearing? Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25. Go here to start making your plans.
Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,692 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,795 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,289 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,329 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,041 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 508 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,626 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,796 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,116 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,091 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 447 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,749 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 856 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,258 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,131 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 712 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,217 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,461 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,570 days.
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.
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