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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How Scientology broke up Tom Cruise and Mimi Rogers: The story you haven’t heard

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[Mimi Rogers and Tom Cruise at the Academy Awards red carpet on March 29, 1989. Credit: Alan Light]

When Alex Gibney’s film Going Clear premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, much of the subsequent news coverage focused on revelations by former Church of Scientology executive Mark “Marty” Rathbun that the church actively “drove a wedge” between Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, helping to end their relationship. Rathbun said that Scientology leader David Miscavige had even helped propel that breakup by ordering Kidman’s phone to be tapped, and the organization also worked to have Tom and Nicole’s adopted children, Isabella and Connor, turn away from their mother.

If the Church of Scientology was so active helping to break up Tom Cruise’s second marriage, how involved were they in ending his first, to actress Mimi Rogers?

Continue reading How Scientology broke up Tom Cruise and Mimi Rogers: The story you haven’t heard

Garcias ask for reconsideration on judge’s error: ‘We never agreed that Scientology is a religion’

Luis_GarciaOn March 13, Tampa federal Judge James D. Whittemore granted the Church of Scientology’s motion to compel Luis and Rocio Garcia to submit to Scientology’s internal arbitration scheme, which essentially ended the Garcias’ lawsuit against the church. The Garcias, who live in Irvine, California, had sued the church for fraud, contending that donations they’d given of several hundred thousand dollars had been pried out of them through lying and deceit.

Continue reading Garcias ask for reconsideration on judge’s error: ‘We never agreed that Scientology is a religion’

L. Ron Hubbard’s Navy record: Chris Owen critiques the ‘Business Insider’ story

HubbardNavyOne of the great results of Lawrence Wright’s New Yorker article on Paul Haggis and Scientology, which grew into his book Going Clear, was that he got the Church of Scientology to turn over a huge amount of documentation of L. Ron Hubbard’s life.

In that trove turned out to be a number of records concerning Hubbard’s career in the US Navy and the 21 medals Hubbard had supposedly been awarded, including two Purple Hearts for being injured in combat. But Wright had his own set of records that he’d acquired directly from the Navy, and they differed from the church’s documents in a number of ways, including a lack of any Purple Hearts or any other medals having to do with combat — since Hubbard hadn’t seen any. The implication seemed clear: Scientology wasn’t above doctoring things to make Hubbard’s World War II career appear more valorous than it was.

Continue reading L. Ron Hubbard’s Navy record: Chris Owen critiques the ‘Business Insider’ story

Read the police report on the spies who kept tabs on the father of Scientology’s leader

David_Miscavige_IAS30We have it, Underground Bunker readers, and now we want your help combing through the documents. We have the police report of Dwayne Powell, who was stopped with his son Daniel during an operation to spy on Ron Miscavige Sr, father to Scientology leader David Miscavige (pictured).

Continue reading Read the police report on the spies who kept tabs on the father of Scientology’s leader

Jenna Miscavige Hill on her uncle spying on her grandfather: The arrogance is astonishing

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SEE ALSO: ‘LET HIM DIE': Our initial post on the Powells, with Dwayne Powell’s indictment and court docket
SEE ALSO: Read the police report on the spies who kept tabs on the father of Scientology’s leader

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported the news that spies allegedly hired by Scientology leader David Miscavige to follow his own father, Ron Miscavige Sr., were arrested in 2013 and, facing a felony over an illegal silencer, spilled their guts about their assignment.

Dwayne Scott Powell told West Allis, Wisc. police that at one time, while he and his son were being paid $10,000 a week to follow Ron Sr., the 79-year-old man was in a Walmart parking lot when he clutched his chest like he was having a heart attack. Calling in for instructions, Powell said David Miscavige himself got on the line. “David told him that if it was Ron’s time to die, to let him die and not intervene in any way,” the police report states.

Continue reading Jenna Miscavige Hill on her uncle spying on her grandfather: The arrogance is astonishing

‘Let him die': Scientology leader David Miscavige had private eyes watching his father, say police

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SEE ALSO: Jenna Miscavige Hill on her uncle spying on her father: The arrogance is astonishing
SEE ALSO: Read the police report on the spies who kept tabs on the father of Scientology’s leader

Los Angeles Times reporter Kim Christensen landed a bombshell Wednesday night with his story about a police report which shows that Scientology leader David Miscavige paid private investigators $10,000 a week for 18 months to follow his father, Ron Miscavige Sr (pictured).

We broke the news in 2012 that Ron had escaped from Scientology’s International Base after being a musician at the compound for many years. He went to Virginia to live with his son, Ron Jr, before relocating to Wisconsin.

And his son David Miscavige, Scientology’s dictatorial leader, has made sure Ron has been under surveillance to keep an eye on what he might say about Scientology.

Continue reading ‘Let him die': Scientology leader David Miscavige had private eyes watching his father, say police

Geoffrey Lewis, 1935-2015, a consummate character actor and an OT 5 Scientologist

Geoffrey_Lewis4Geoffrey Lewis, the bucolic character actor known best for the 1970s Clint Eastwood movies he appeared in, died in his son Miles’s arms Tuesday after suffering cardiac arrest during a morning workout. He was 79 years old.

Continue reading Geoffrey Lewis, 1935-2015, a consummate character actor and an OT 5 Scientologist

25 of the biggest lies told by L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology

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One of the Bunker’s great contributors, Jeffrey Augustine, has put together for us a list of the biggest whoppers told by Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, and a couple of canards thrown around by the church itself. We think you’re going to enjoy the collection Jeffrey put together for us…
Continue reading 25 of the biggest lies told by L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology

Mike Rowe uses Facebook to rip Scientology over the treatment of his friend Spanky Taylor

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On Sunday night Mike Rowe, the former Dirty Jobs host and current star of CNN’s Somebody’s Gotta Do It, used his Facebook page to vent over the treatment of Spanky Taylor that’s described in Alex Gibney’s documentary about Scientology, Going Clear. Spanky was one of eight former Church of Scientology members who appeared in the film to talk about how they got into the church but later broke away, and Spanky’s story about being assigned to the Sea Org’s prison detail and having to save her young child from a filthy group nursery is one of the most shocking parts of the movie.

Continue reading Mike Rowe uses Facebook to rip Scientology over the treatment of his friend Spanky Taylor

Saturday Night Live’s genius spoof of Scientology: Lyrics and images

SNL4A very happy Easter to our readers, whether you celebrate the holiday or not. In case you missed the excitement last night, Saturday Night Live aired a pitch-perfect parody of Scientology’s 1990 video “We Stand Tall” which was featured prominently in Alex Gibney’s documentary Going Clear.

Gibney’s film aired on HBO Sunday night and has been repeating since then, but the amount of work that went into SNL’s spoof suggests that this has been in the works for weeks — either since Going Clear‘s theatrical run began on March 13 or perhaps as far back as when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

Continue reading Saturday Night Live’s genius spoof of Scientology: Lyrics and images