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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Longtime Scientologist Jim Jackson remembers Lyman Spurlock, 1945-2014

Jim Jackson

Jim Jackson

We’re still hearing from people about Lyman Spurlock, the longtime Scientology executive who died last month of throat cancer. And in particular we received a truly remarkable remembrance from someone who has never spoken publicly about his time in the organization. Jim Jackson is an attorney and certified public accountant in Los Angeles.

 
I first met Lyman Spurlock in 1971 as his “Hard TR’s Supervisor” at the Berkeley Mission. Since we were both CPA’s, he later hired me in 1974 to work for him in his tax practice in Los Angeles.

Continue reading Longtime Scientologist Jim Jackson remembers Lyman Spurlock, 1945-2014

Lyman Spurlock, 1945-2014: Imprisoned and abused, a loyal Scientology executive to the end

Lyman_SpurlockWe received confirmation that Lyman Spurlock, a longtime and high-ranking official in the Church of Scientology, died last month after a battle with cancer. He was 69.

Spurlock had worked directly with Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and was a key figure in Hubbard’s scheme to reorganize Scientology while he was in hiding in the early 1980s. In more recent years, eyewitnesses say Spurlock quietly and without complaint suffered verbal and physical abuse at the hands of current Scientology leader David Miscavige. He spent much of his life at Scientology’s secretive International Base east of Los Angeles, but left it recently for Scientology’s spiritual mecca in Clearwater, Florida, loyal to the organization to the end.

Continue reading Lyman Spurlock, 1945-2014: Imprisoned and abused, a loyal Scientology executive to the end

Sunday Funnies: Scientology is going down in style!

MarilynSmallThanks for joining us in the Bunker today for our weekly feature, Sunday Funnies, when we take a look at the best Scientology fliers that tipsters forwarded to us.

Once again, this week’s items give us a snapshot of Scientology’s obsession with fundraising as individuals are asked to give up any thought of themselves for the good of the group.

But hang on, what’s this? Our first item, which comes to us from the ‘Silicon Valley Ideal Org’ push in Mountain View, California, is somewhat out of character for your typical celebration of people who write big checks.

Continue reading Sunday Funnies: Scientology is going down in style!

Deputy ambassador of a small African nation? Scientology wants to buy you lunch!

FraserMansionScientology has an interesting history with Washington D.C.

On July 4, 1955, the “Founding” Church of Scientology was opened there, even though churches had already been created in Camden (1953) and Los Angeles (1954).

The first raid on a Scientology church happened in Washington in 1964 when the Food and Drug Administration decided it had heard enough of L. Ron Hubbard’s health claims and the agency confiscated about a hundred of his “e-meters.”

Continue reading Deputy ambassador of a small African nation? Scientology wants to buy you lunch!

Angry Gay Pope loses ownership of ‘KendrickMoxon.com’ to … Kendrick Moxon

MoxonAGPYesterday, arbitrator and retired Texas judge Carolyn Marks Johnson took away the rights to the domain name KendrickMoxon.com from Donald Myers, a West Hollywood Scientology critic better known as ‘Angry Gay Pope,’ and awarded the domain to Scientology attorney Kendrick Moxon.

AGP is known for his loud, brash way of protesting Scientology, whether in attention-getting public demonstrations or his online activities, which included the website named after the church attorney, Moxon.

Continue reading Angry Gay Pope loses ownership of ‘KendrickMoxon.com’ to … Kendrick Moxon

LIVE REPORTS FROM TAMPA: Scientology tests its religious freedom defense in fraud lawsuit

TampaCourtWe have several correspondents on the scene today as the next dramatic showdown occurs in Luis and Rocio Garcia’s fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology.

The Garcias first filed their lawsuit in January 2013, alleging that over their long time in the church, they had been victimized by fraudulent schemes to convince them to donate large sums of money. (In one memorable example, they claimed that they were asked to donate tens of thousands of dollars to pay for a Scientology cross to go on the top of the Super Power Building in Clearwater, only to find out later that other church members had been asked to pay for the same cross.)

Continue reading LIVE REPORTS FROM TAMPA: Scientology tests its religious freedom defense in fraud lawsuit

Nancy Cartwright puts out the creepiest Scientology advertisement of all time

Nancy_Cartwright2Scientologist extraordinaire, voice of Bart Simpson, and San Fernando Valley resident Nancy Cartwright — known to the locals as ‘Her Royal Governess’ — has provided what may be the creepiest Scientology advertisement of all time.

Readers of the Underground Bunker know that Cartwright has been heavily pushing her fellow Valleyites to come to one themed event after another where they have the pleasure of being held in a locked room until they fork over large donations for the renovation of a dull-looking building at Lankershim and Burbank Boulevards in North Hollywood.

Continue reading Nancy Cartwright puts out the creepiest Scientology advertisement of all time

Sea Org Document: Dare to have children, you get sent to Scientology’s version of Siberia

PacBaseMartin Ottmann is a longtime critic of the Church of Scientology who is known for his dogged search for documents that describe every aspect of Scientology management and life. We asked him to bring some of his expertise to the Underground Bunker and help us dig into the dark corners of this secretive organization.

Last week, Martin sent us a document issued at Scientology’s PAC Base in Los Angeles in 1989. That document restricted the amount of time that Sea Org parents could spend with their children. Now, he’s sent us another PAC document from that time regarding Sea Org couples that dared to get pregnant.

Continue reading Sea Org Document: Dare to have children, you get sent to Scientology’s version of Siberia

Jonny Jacobsen reviews the new Scientology memoir by Hungarian writer Peter Bonyai

Peter_BonyaiOur man in Paris, British journalist Jonny Jacobsen, is back with another great piece — this time, a lengthy review of the newest book recounting the journey into and out of the Church of Scientology.

Underground Bunker regulars will recall that Hungarian ex-Scientology member Peter Bonyai (pictured, right) helped us out with a story in April on the supposedly transparent and independent Central-European Religious Freedom Institute (CERFI). (Jura Nanuk, who heads up the lobbying organisation, had somehow forgotten to mention his allegiance to Scientology at the group’s website. Nor, so far as I can see, has the situation changed.)

Continue reading Jonny Jacobsen reviews the new Scientology memoir by Hungarian writer Peter Bonyai

Signs of chaos emerge for Scientology’s drug rehab legal defense

LewisBrisboisThe last time we reported on the 19 lawsuits filed against Scientology’s drug rehab network Narconon by Las Vegas attorney Ryan Hamilton, we told you that Hamilton had won a decisive victory in the Geanacopulos lawsuit when Judge James C. Mahan denied the motion to dismiss filed by Narconon International and the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE).

We called it an across-the-board victory as Judge Mahan knocked down each of the arguments made by International and ABLE, and we may have been more right than we realized.

Continue reading Signs of chaos emerge for Scientology’s drug rehab legal defense