Tony Ortega is executive editor of The Raw Story and is formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He's written about Scientology since 1995, and has a forthcoming book about the subject. 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]
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Kelly Preston finally blows away the last of her Scientology space cooties!

kellypreston

We’ve heard from multiple sources that at Friday night’s weekly graduation celebration at Flag — Scientology’s spiritual headquarters in Clearwater, Florida — Kelly Preston celebrated her completion of Operating Thetan Level Seven.

Continue reading Kelly Preston finally blows away the last of her Scientology space cooties!

Scientology Sunday Funnies: In valleys near and far, it’s time to stand and deliver!

IdealElvisWe sure do love Sunday Funnies. They give us an opportunity, each week, to check in on what Scientology is telling its members in the form of fundraising fliers. Over the years, our readers have picked out many significant clues about what’s ailing the church. it’s become a really substantial history of an organization in trouble.

We can’t wait to see what you make of today’s items, which we’ve sifted from many mailers and messages sent to us by our great tipsters.

Continue reading Scientology Sunday Funnies: In valleys near and far, it’s time to stand and deliver!

Scientology’s ‘International Justice Chief’ surfaces for the Garcia lawsuit

ScientologyEthicsThe last time we checked in on the federal fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology filed by Luis and Rocio Garcia of Irvine, California, we told you that Judge James A. Whittemore had given Scientology a pretty good challenge.

Scientology wants Judge Whittemore to dismiss the lawsuit in favor of the Garcias being compelled to take their grievances to the church’s internal system of arbitration. The Garcias object to that notion, and say that not only are their allegations of fraud not an internal matter, but Scientology’s supposed arbitration system is a sham anyway.

The Garcias have produced declarations by former church officials who say Scientology’s rules of arbitration are illusory. Scientology fired back with a 1963 policy written by L. Ron Hubbard outlining the church’s internal justice system, which is built on hearings known as “committees of evidence” or “comm evs.”

Continue reading Scientology’s ‘International Justice Chief’ surfaces for the Garcia lawsuit

Vance Woodward’s lawsuit dismissed as judge grants Scientology’s anti-SLAPP motion

Vance Woodward

Vance Woodward

On Monday, Judge Michael Johnson of the Los Angeles Superior Court granted an anti-SLAPP motion and dismissed Vance Woodward’s lawsuit against the Church of Scientology.

Woodward filed his lawsuit in March, saying that he had been harmed by his years in Scientology and asked for money back that he gave for services that he would never have use for after leaving the church. If you recall, we reported in June that Scientology filed a motion to compel Woodward to dismiss the suit and submit his grievances to Scientology’s internal arbitration procedures instead.

Continue reading Vance Woodward’s lawsuit dismissed as judge grants Scientology’s anti-SLAPP motion

Ryan Hamilton files two more federal lawsuits against Scientology’s drug rehab network

Willie_Mays2Las Vegas attorney Ryan Hamilton is still on a roll, filing his 23rd and 24th lawsuits this week against the Church of Scientology’s drug rehab network, Narconon.

Beginning in January, Hamilton has been filing lawsuits against the Narconon facilities in California, Nevada, and Colorado, and over that time we’ve seen him bolster his complaints with material from other suits following patient deaths in Georgia and Oklahoma. In each case, Hamilton targets the local facility and two umbrella corporations, Narconon International and the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE), which are staffed by Scientology “Sea Org” officers.

Continue reading Ryan Hamilton files two more federal lawsuits against Scientology’s drug rehab network

EXCLUSIVE: Scientology didn’t want you to see this letter it sent to the San Francisco Chronicle

Jamie_Dewolf2Last week, we remarked on what a superb job San Francisco Chronicle reporter Nanette Asimov had done on her lengthy profile of Jamie DeWolf (right), the L. Ron Hubbard great-grandson and Scientology critic we’ve been keeping an eye on for several years.

Jamie is a super-talented storyteller and performance artist who hasn’t exploited his connection to Hubbard as much as he might. He has a solid career that has nothing to do with criticizing Scientology, but he knows that he’s in demand because he has such colorful things to say about his grandfather — L. Ron Hubbard Jr., also known as Ron DeWolf — and his famous great-grandfather.

Continue reading EXCLUSIVE: Scientology didn’t want you to see this letter it sent to the San Francisco Chronicle

Comedy gold: Mark Ebner catches Scientology cheating with Sarah Silverman

LAComedyWomenOn Sunday, our old friend Mark Ebner began tweeting about something he’d spotted on Facebook. On Saturday night, a stand-up showcase featuring women had been scheduled to take place at Scientology’s Hollywood Celebrity Centre, and it called itself the “Los Angeles Women in Comedy Festival 2014.”

Continue reading Comedy gold: Mark Ebner catches Scientology cheating with Sarah Silverman

A Bunker Exclusive: Jonny Jacobsen’s 2008 book introduction describing Scientology

Jonny Jacobsen

Jonny Jacobsen

As 2007 was ending, and then as the Anonymous movement reacted to the Tom Cruise video incident in January 2008, a British journalist living in Paris, Jonny Jacobsen, was racing to put together a book about the Church of Scientology. More than a year before “The Truth Rundown,” the blockbuster series in the Tampa Bay Times that came out in 2009, Jacobsen was ready to expose the shocking nature of physical brutality in the highest echelons of Scientology at its secretive base in California, and many other previously unpublished secrets.

But Jonny struggled to find a publisher for his work, and after writing his introduction, he turned instead to another medium: He began his excellent blog, Infinite Complacency.

Continue reading A Bunker Exclusive: Jonny Jacobsen’s 2008 book introduction describing Scientology

Sunday Funnies: Scientology wants your child, even if it’s not yet born!

DuffsIt’s that time of the week when we share with you the best Scientology fundraising fliers that have been forwarded to us by our great tipsters.

These fliers give us some insight into how desperate the organization is as it tries to get more and more money out of fewer and fewer folks.

We’re also eternally fascinated to see who is still turning over big checks when it’s pretty obvious that Scientology’s apocalypse is in full swing.

Continue reading Sunday Funnies: Scientology wants your child, even if it’s not yet born!

Jon Atack: How to talk to a Scientologist to plant the seeds of doubt

Jon_AtackJon 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 a year on Saturdays he helped 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. He was kind enough to send us a new post.

Jon, it looks like you have found another fun way to turn the words of L. Ron Hubbard back in on themselves. Let’s hear it.

Continue reading Jon Atack: How to talk to a Scientologist to plant the seeds of doubt