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Sunday Funnies: The United States of Scientology

KCYoBaby2Yesterday, Scientologists entered a new age. We’ve been learning lately that Scientology leader David Miscavige has hit upon a new strategy to wring out the last dollar from church members who have already given until it hurts for his “Ideal Orgs” building program.

He calls it “alliances,” and it involves convincing what few Scientologists remain to band together and, well, give even more.

Yesterday, these alliances gathered in various places around the world in order to celebrate Miscavige’s notion that a dwindling movement just needs to open up shiny and empty new buildings in order to…well, we’re not sure what he expects will happen.

But in the meantime, we’re the real beneficiaries — because the promotional videos that Scientologists have been making in order to whip up a fervor over this desperate new strategy are truly entertaining.

For example, how do you get a few Scientologists in Kansas City to make a seven hour drive to freezing cold Minneapolis just so they can be hounded for donations? Why, you tell them they’re going to be “Yo Babified”!

 

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Now, truthfully these look like good folks. Who wouldn’t want to shake off a spring chill with an adult beverage with Mr. Yo himself on some fine Twin Cities evening? But can we do that without mortgaging the house on another vacant building for Miscavige?

[See below for our surprising update on this video.]

Meanwhile, down in South Africa, the church members there came up with another strategy for their own alliance. They put together a talent competition, and you know when Scientologists show off their talents, you’re in for a good time.

We’ll show you just a few examples. To simulate the sort of thing you’d get with one of the big televised talent competitions, each participant was first interviewed. Here’s Marina Howarth on what a happy Scientologist she is…

 

 
And here’s her talent on display. Hey, we only wish we could do Gangnam Style this well. Sober.

 

 
And here’s a sample of ABBA, Scientology style…

 

 
And here’s a flier for the alliance that met yesterday in Los Angeles. In this case, Scientologists from around Southern California were being asked to unite in order to get shaken down for the Ideal Org project in the San Fernando Valley, which we hear is hopelessly behind on its renovations….

 
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And if Scientologists haven’t been asked to fork over enough cash for buildings, we found that wealthier members are also getting pelted with offers like this…

 
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Hey, that’s some pricey bling. Doesn’t anyone in this church actually pay for services anymore? Oh, well, here’s a flier for some low-level processing at the LA Org. It’s good to know someone’s still paying for L. Ron’s “tech”…

 
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Now that sounds like a good time. But it’s not just church members who are having all the fun with talent shows and fundraisers and auditing. Ex-church members are also having a ball these days. Karen de la Carriere sent us this most recent video that she’s put together, and clearly, she’s having too much fun…

 

 
We think there was a serious point in there somewhere about Scientologists with mental problems being put in isolation, a dangerous practice that was blamed for the 1995 death of church member Lisa McPherson.

But Scientology doesn’t dwell on the past. We’re excited for this new golden age, which Miscavige announced at this past Birthday Event, and we’d love to hear any accounts about this weekend’s alliance events. Send in your reports, tipsters!

 

UPDATE: Twin Cities ex-Scientologist Natalie Hagemo just blew our minds. She tells us that the woman who identifies herself as the “ED Day” (executive director) in the “Yo Baby” video is none other than Mary (McGrath) Gaiman, ex-wife to famous sci-fi/fantasy author Neil Gaiman…

 
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According Scientology’s own publications Mary is a big donor to Scientology causes, and for a little confirmation of her relationship with Neil, here’s a photo of Neil and Mary and their son Mike that was taken in about 1984 — Neil put it on his blog in 2009…

 
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Neil has said that he’s no longer involved in Scientology, and that he lives close to Mary to be near their three children. With Mary’s involvement in the church obviously still so extensive — she’s executive director of an Ideal Org! — we can’t help wondering what sort of involvement their kids have (they’d be adults now, obviously).

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on April 21, 2013 at 07:00

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