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Child deaths at a pop concert turn into the latest chance for Scientology to spread its propaganda

 
Rod Keller keeps an eye on Scientology’s sneaky front groups like the ‘Volunteer Ministers,’ who always try to take advantage of human tragedy…

Twenty-two people were killed by a bomb at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England on Monday night, prompting Scientology Volunteer Ministers to rush into action. Late last year SAVE (Scientology Aid Volunteers England) and Executive Director Neil Martland received the donation of a used Ford Transit van, which they have painted to resemble an emergency vehicle with “Mobile Support Unit” and “Something Can Be Done About It” on the sides and back.

 

 
On Tuesday members rushed to local Adsa and Tesco grocery stores to request donations of food and water to be brought to emergency workers at the bombing site. Officers didn’t appear too receptive, however.

 

 
With donated food and water not being needed, Scientology turned instead to literature distribution. The Way to Happiness booklet by L. Ron Hubbard is held by Scientology to be a cure-all for social unrest. As Hubbard wrote “All you have to do is keep that booklet flowing in the society. Like gentle oil spread upon the raging sea, the calm will flow outward and outward.” The response from Mancunians to the Scientologists was mixed, with some appearing enthusiastic in photos and others hiding their faces from the camera.

 


 
We asked a former staff member about the booklet and its purpose.

“The Way to Happiness became a huge money spinner and management realized that asking people for money for booklets after a tragedy (flood, fire, disaster, war, etc.) was easier than just asking for straight donations from people. It’s always easy to get people to part with money if you push the button of tragedy and immediate need for relief and the book became the perfect tool for this.”

 

 
The Way to Happiness is supposed to be an independent organization within Scientology, but in Manchester we see Volunteer Ministers distributing the booklet.

“I always got so confused between TWTH and VMs who are supposed to be the people on the ground delivering help and solutions using the various VM Handbook tools. It seemed like TWTH and VM lines became blurred at some point and they even started pushing TWTH from the VM Cavalcade program but in fact the two are totally separate activities.”

The booklet consists of 21 precepts about how to have a happy life. Why is it appropriate in cases like the Manchester bombing?

“I always thought it rather incongruous handing someone who’d just suffered terrible loss or tragedy a WTH booklet with precepts like ‘Love and Honor Your Parents’ or ‘Be Industrious’ to someone who’s just lost his entire house and livelihood in a flood or hurricane or similar. At the end of the day, it boils down to the money. The tragedy is just another convenient tool for the church to use to guilt people into coughing up money.”

Scientologists donate $18 per bundles of 12 booklets, which cost the church a very small fraction of that to print, since they own modern printing plants in the U.S. and Europe.

 

 
The new front group STAND (Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination) took time out from bashing Leah Remini and others appearing in the A&E show Scientology and the Aftermath to issue a video in support of the Manchester Victims. As of this writing the video has received 38 views.

 
— Rod Keller

 
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Bonus items

 
David Miscavige made yet another appearance yesterday to open a new building for the Church of Scientology. This was the new “Ideal Org” in Copenhagen, which already has an “Advanced Org.” Scientology says 2,500 people showed up, so if we divide by the usual factor of 7, there were probably more like 400 in attendance.

 

 
Yesterday we featured some pages from the newest Source magazine. One thing we didn’t mention is that a man named Eiman Rahnama from Los Angeles was held up as someone who had signed on for the most expensive auditing level of all — OT 7. And just after a week into his OT 7 experience, he met and later got engaged to someone we know here at the Bunker very well, the glamorous Meghan Fialkoff, who, with her father, Queens dentist Bernard Fialkoff, infiltrates New York City schools to push Scientology’s controversial anti-drug theories. Well, we wish the best for OT 7 Eiman and Freedom Medal winner Meghan.

 

 
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Countdown to Denver!

 

 
HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25 at the Residence Inn Denver City Center. Go here to start making your plans.

 
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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,764 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,521 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,867 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,361 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,401 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,113 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 639 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,728 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,868 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,188 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,163 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 519 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,821 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 928 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,330 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,203 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 784 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,289 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,533 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,642 days.

 
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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on May 28, 2017 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.

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

 

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