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Scientology's New Strategy: Attack of the Clones!

AttackOfTheClonesOne of the things we do at the Underground Bunker is monitor information coming in from our worldwide tipster network, trying to get our best sense of what’s happening in the Church of Scientology in real time.

One result of that is our Sunday Funnies, our weekly feature which shows the latest fliers and mailers going out to church members. Over time, those fliers give us some sense of how things are going with Scientology’s constant fundraising. (And when the church is reduced to begging $75 to sponsor a doorknob or asking members to cash in their gold and silver, things are not looking good.)

Scientology is in a deep crisis right now, with non-celebrity, non-wealthy members nearly tapped out from the various money-sucking programs run by church leader David Miscavige.

What used to be a focus for such members — moving up the Bridge to Total Freedom in order to achieve fabulous personal gains — seemed to have fallen by the wayside as Scientologists have been hit up with pitches for an Ideal Org or the Super Power Building or donations to the IAS or offers for Freewinds seminars. Judging by the language in the latest fliers, it’s getting tougher to get people down to the their local org for these fleecings.

However, we’ve been hearing from our tipsters that Miscavige isn’t entirely oblivious to what’s going on, and that a new effort to sell church members on their own personal growth has been going on.

We had noticed fliers for worldwide barnstorming by several OT VIII ambassadors who have been, for want of a better analogy, preaching the gospel.


From our tipsters we’ve pieced together the following account of one of these circuit preachers, a man named Michael Chan.


“It was like a Bible-thumping Baptist get-together,” one tipster tells us. “He did a lot of quotes from LRH, especially from the ACC lectures but also from books.”

In fire-and-brimstone style, Chan warns his listeners that they will make poor decisions in life if they’re anything less than 20 on the tone scale.

For non-Scientologists, our tipster is referring to L. Ron Hubbard’s scale which numbers human emotions, from zero (death) to 4.0 for “enthusiasm.” Only Scientologists can get higher on the scale, up to a theoretical 40 for “serenity of beingness.”

Chan’s underlying message is that it’s not good enough to achieve “Clear,” which enables someone to reach tone 4.0. It’s imperative that they get all the way up the Bridge to its highest current level, OT VIII. Only then can they lead the error-free lives they want.

But another reason he urges Scientologists to get to OT VIII is so that once enough people reach that state — and the Ideal Orgs are all built — David Miscavige can then finally release OT IX, X, and XI, where the real super powers start, apparently.

For example, Chan tells his crowd that the natural lifespan of a human being is 126 years, and that those Scientologists who can get above OT VIII should be able to add 40 to 60 years to their lives.

But there’s an even more amazing reason for a Scientologist to get to OT IX: At that point, Chan says, they can mock up another self.

At OT IX, a Scientologist can create another being in his own image, or with some other aspect, if he so wishes.

With enough Scientologists at the top of the scale, they could create an army of duplicate beings to help take over the planet.

We’re told that audiences react to this with enthusiasm.

But Chan is also telling his audiences that along with that immense super power comes super responsibility. Chan tells his audiences to prepare for “sec checks from Hell.”

In other words, church members may already be accustomed to the grueling interrogations of “security checks” — to ferret out doubters, and also for information about their sex lives — but they should prepare for even more invasive and brutal grillings.

It’s all necessary, Chan explains, because with the super powers they will have above OT VIII, they cannot have people without “complete ethical control” unleashing those powers on an unsuspecting world.

When Chan finishes his fiery talk, registrars move in to hit up audience members for new purchases and donations.

We want to thank our tipsters for giving us this glimpse of what’s going on in the church today. It’s interesting to know that superhuman abilities are still being offered as end phenomena of Dianetics and Scientology (as they have been since 1950), and that Scientologists are being told that if they can just get to the top of the Bridge, they will be able to clone themselves with their minds. This planet will be cleared in no time.

CODA: We should point out that when Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard died in 1986, some believed he had written unreleased “Operating Thetan” levels — perhaps up to OT XV. When David Miscavige started the 24-year surveillance of Pat Broeker, Hubbard’s final caretaker, the point of the spying was, in part, to find out if Broeker had in his possession those unreleased materials. But the private eyes who did that surveillance say they never found anything of the sort, and Marty Rathbun, in his book, The Scientology Reformation, stated that there are no materials above OT VIII, and he accuses Miscavige of fraudulently perpetuating the idea that more OT levels will someday be released.



Our man in Paris, Jonny Jacobsen, sent us this dispatch on a remarkable moment in France’s upper legislative body…

Tuesday evening, former Scientologist Roger Gonnet testified before France’s Senate committee of inquiry into the influence of cult-like movements in the health sector.

As in the United States, the Senate is the upper house of France’s two-tier parliamentary chamber and as such carries a certain gravitas.

And at least one of the senators had been doing her homework.

Senator Muguette Dini said she had read Jenna Miscavige Hill’s memoir, Beyond Belief, about her time growing up in Scientology (already translated into French).

She had read it over a weekend, she said: “I devoured it.” And her verdict? “Very edifying: excellent!”

Senator Dini is from the centrist UDI: the Union of Democrats and Independents. (You can see where it sits ideologically by looking at this graphic of the Senate’s political representation.)

But in any case for years now — at least since the Solar Temple murder-suicides of the mid-1990s — there has been a cross-party consensus on cults in general and Scientology in particular: they are not fans.

Another senator asked Gonnet if he thought Hill’s book was an accurate account. Gonnet replied that while he could not vouch for every detail — some of what he had read there was new to him — so far as he could tell it was an absolutely accurate account.

Gonnet testified on his experience in Scientology in the early 1970s to mid-1980s. He and his family spent eight years inside the movement.

He explained how he set up a branch in Lyon and, having translated the relevant texts into French, ran the first Purification Rundowns there.

He told how he almost lost one of his clients there — making it clear that if he had followed the procedure set out by Hubbard, in his view his client would almost certainly have died. (He sketched out this story during his testimony in the 2009 Paris trial.)

The committee is due to deliver its report on April 10.



Mark Bunker, who just started another Indiegogo fundraiser to help finish his highly-anticipated documentary about Scientology, Knowledge Report, has been a little quiet lately.

And no wonder. He’s been working like a dog to get his movie done, interviewing people all over the country.

So it was a treat to hear him talk at length about Scientology with comedian Jake Weisman and Allan Chaykin in a three hour podcast. Part one is here. And here’s part two.

Weisman really seems up on the latest news about Scientology, and he and Chaykin and Bunker make for a good trio to discuss the issue. We could listen to Bunker all day.


SMERSH Madness: Sowing the Seeds of World Domination!

As we announced on March 1, we’re joining bracket fever with a tournament like no other. It’s up to you to decide who should be named the new SMERSH, the traditional nemesis of Scientology. Cast your vote for who’s doing more to propel the church down its long slide into oblivion!

Continuing in the first round, we have an intriguing clash this morning…


Luis Garcia is a longtime Scientologist who quit the church and then was featured in the 2011 Tampa Bay Times series on Scientology’s money trail. But he’s on this list for another reason. A federal lawsuit he filed in January, accusing the church of fraud, has major implications. Represented by some of the best attorneys in Florida, this court fight looks like a serious problem for David Miscavige.

Marc & Claire Headley detailed their harrowing escape from Scientology’s International Base in Marc’s 2009 book, Blown for Good. They sued Scientology and lost, it’s true, but few couples have done more to expose the hardships of the church’s fanatical inner corps, the “Sea Org.” Also, they keep having kids, which is in part a way of thumbing their noses at Miscavige, who denies SO members the right to have children.


An update on our tournament so far:

L. Ron Hubbard defeated Steve Cannane (by one vote!)
Debbie Cook defeated John Sweeney
Nancy Many defeated Paul Thomas Anderson
Tobin & Childs defeated Rathbun & Rinder
Katie Holmes edged out David Edgar Love

And here’s what the first bracket looks like…



Posted by Tony Ortega on March 6, 2013 at 07:00


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