Tony Ortega is a journalist who was formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He's written about Scientology since 1995, and in May 2015 released a book about Scientology's harassment of Paulette Cooper titled 'The Unbreakable Miss Lovely.' He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world from an undisclosed location in an underground bunker he shares with four cats and one of them wrinkly Shar Pei dogs. Despite his super-secret security protections, you can still reach him pretty easily by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT gmail.com (Drop him a line if you'd like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.) [Header image courtesy John Rickard]
Facebook

Subscribe to our e-mail list

To Scientology’s Emily Jones: We have a message from your mother

JonesFamily

[Phil and Willie Jones and their children Mike and Emily, before disconnection]

Earlier this year, Phil and Willie Jones came to us when they wanted to raise money for a billboard in Los Angeles that would urge Scientologists disconnected from their families to pick up the phone and call their loved ones. Our readers came through in a big way, helping to raise enough money for that “Call Me” billboard to appear in the Echo Park neighborhood, garnering a huge amount of media attention.

Continue reading To Scientology’s Emily Jones: We have a message from your mother

Hey, thetan: Scientology has a few questions for you

SurveyQs

 
As our correspondent Commodore H. McCringleberry learned at an event in Houston recently, Scientology is crazy for surveys. Church members are always being asked to fill them out, even though they tend to ask the same questions over and over again in a poorly disguised attempt to sell church services.

Continue reading Hey, thetan: Scientology has a few questions for you

Here’s how you can help make a difference in lives touched by Scientology

Tom_Devocht_GC3

[Tom DeVocht, in a scene from Going Clear]

The Underground Bunker has a pretty great record when it comes to helping people raise money.

Continue reading Here’s how you can help make a difference in lives touched by Scientology

Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s caretaker and friend, Steve ‘Sarge’ Pfauth, 1945-2016

Steve_Pfauth

 
Sinar Parman, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s former personal chef, revealed on Facebook last night that Steve ‘Sarge’ Pfauth died yesterday in Michigan of heart and kidney ailments. Pfauth was 70.

Pfauth was a loyal friend to Hubbard and served him as a caretaker and ranch hand in his final years. From 1983 to 1986, Pfauth worked at the Creston, California ranch where Hubbard spent his final days. As Pfauth later pointed out, he worked so closely with Hubbard his signature appears on both Hubbard’s death certificate and his last will.

Continue reading Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s caretaker and friend, Steve ‘Sarge’ Pfauth, 1945-2016

Scientology continues to push for ‘Battlefield Earth’ sales, and you can get this T-shirt!

Keller20p1

 
It’s time again for Rod Keller’s Scientology Social Media Review. He’s made a specialty of hunting down the odd and wonderful things Scientologists post to the ‘net. He’s a chronicler who piece by piece builds a highly detailed assessment of what Scientology is doing around the world, and this is what he found for us this week…

 
Scientology has released a print of the Frank Frazetta painting used on the new edition of the L. Ron Hubbard book Battlefield Earth. The price is $10,000. Scientologists are being urged to buy 20 copies of the book to push it on the New York Times bestseller list. In some missions, if you buy 25 copies, you get this t-shirt.
Continue reading Scientology continues to push for ‘Battlefield Earth’ sales, and you can get this T-shirt!

Atack: Which of Scientology’s thought-stopping clichés has stayed with you the longest?

Jon_Atack3Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and for more than three years he’s been helping us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet.

Thought-terminating clichés are used by advertisers, politicians and cult leaders alike to package ideas into slogans. There are other forms of cliché that are useful – for instance, when FDR said that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Others, like the ‘War on Terror’ are not so useful.

Continue reading Atack: Which of Scientology’s thought-stopping clichés has stayed with you the longest?

Our money man takes another look at new (and grim) Scientology financial disclosures

NarcononHolland

[Narconon Holland]

Once again we’ve turned to our money man, John P, to help us dive into some interesting Scientology documents that have turned up in the Netherlands. Scientology is normally very secretive about its finances, but in a couple of countries, like Ireland and the Netherlands, local laws force them to open up their books. That gives us a rare chance to see how the local organizations are faring. And once again, the outlook is not good. In this case, the Scientology drug rehab center in Holland submitted its financial report for 2015, and we turned it over to John P…

 
Continue reading Our money man takes another look at new (and grim) Scientology financial disclosures

The Church of Intimidation: Scientology stalks another ex-member on the taxpayer dime

PrivateEye

 
What we have for you today appears to be a pretty slight item. It’s a letter, and it’s literally only one line long.

But when we saw it, we thought it spoke volumes, and we wanted to share it with you.

Doing so, however, would be tricky. Let us explain.

Continue reading The Church of Intimidation: Scientology stalks another ex-member on the taxpayer dime

What happened when one of our readers got into a Scientology ‘Flag World Tour’ event

SciFlag9

 
What a treat we have for you today. On Friday, we brought your attention to a flier that had been posted online claiming that there would be a meeting in Houston Saturday night to discuss the possibility of a new “Ideal Org” project starting there. The flier had been posted by a Scientologist who is also involved in the Nation of Islam. The NOI and Scientology teaming up to put an Ideal Org in a city that only currently rates a mission? This sounded interesting, especially to one of our Houston readers.

Continue reading What happened when one of our readers got into a Scientology ‘Flag World Tour’ event

Battle for a Scientology soul: Kazakh 20-year-old ‘prisoner’ is back home, but will she stay?

Rigina_Dina_Tylevich

[Rigina Hikmatulina and her mother, Dina Tylevich, in a photo taken yesterday for the Underground Bunker]

 
Rigina is back. But is she there to stay?

Continue reading Battle for a Scientology soul: Kazakh 20-year-old ‘prisoner’ is back home, but will she stay?