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PORTLAND LIVE: Mark Bunker at Scientology’s “Ideal Org” Event

Mark Bunker

Mark Bunker

We’re very disappointed to learn that Mark Bunker was prevented from filming today’s Ideal Org event from what appeared to be the perfect perch.

Yesterday, Bunker sent us a photo from the window he had arranged to film the event. He had secured permission from the owner of the building, which houses the outdoors goods store across the street from the Scientology building.

But today, as he arrived with his equipment, he was greeted by Scientology operatives and a number of Portland police officers. The officers told Bunker he had every right to film from the location — but the owner, Bunker says, had been so intimidated by Scientology employees, he had rescinded Bunker’s permission.

Here’s the view Bunker would have had…

 
PortlandView

 
Bunker called us a few minutes ago, giving us the news. “I’m really upset,” he said, and his voice sounded shaky. “They put so much fear into the owner that he decided he didn’t want to have anything to do with it.”

Then, he told us, “A police officer just asked to search my bag for weapons.” He then hung up.

We’ll get more from the scene when we can.

He soon called back: “The police just searched me. I’m outside on the street right now. I just posted a video of them searching me on my channel.”

Here it is…

 

 
Called again: He got on the roof of the Silverado Bar…

 

 
Now he says Scientology paid to film on top of the bar and he’s not allowed to. He’s trying to reach the bar owner, Tommy Breseale.

“They had the police come and take me away, and escort me away from the event. I tried to stall and reach the bar owner. But a crowd of cops showed up.”

“I’ll take a picture of the guy who’s here, watching me.”

 

Bunker's handler

Bunker’s handler

 
A local gets a statement from police about the 4-block zone…

 
PortlandTweets

 
Bunker is now in another building with a less-than perfect vantage point. But Bunker said the person who let him into the building just came up to him and said, “You didn’t throw anything off the balcony, did you?”

Down below, Scientology operatives are trying to convince Portland PD that Bunker has dangerously thrown something off the balcony so they can get him arrested. “There are a lot of cops and Scientologists down there, all looking up at me.”

He’s going to keep taping the event for as long as he can.

Here’s Bunker’s new vantage point. Not ideal, but the police did confirm to him that it is outside the 4-block zone Scientology has to itself…

 
BunkerView

 
Just talked to Bunker again…

“Things got really intense as DM [Scientology leader David Miscavige] just took the stage. A John Allender from the church just came up here.”

“John Allender said, ‘We’re going to bring the police up here. You don’t belong here.’ But the guy who lives here was saying, ‘He can be here, he’s my guest, he’s my friend’.”

“Allender went for the camera. It was perched precariously on the ledge, and I was afraid he’d make it go over.”

“DM is talking, I’m rolling on it. I don’t know how much sound I’m going to get on it.”

“I’m trying to be quiet, but one of the annoying neighbors is yelling at me right now, and that will be picked up more than what DM is saying.”

“The apartment manager is here now.”

“Anyway, DM is talking, I’m taping, the police told me that if I could get into this building I had every right to tape here, but Scientology is doing everything they can to get me kicked out of here. That’s where we stand…”

 
Just talked to “Scottie,” who allowed Bunker to shoot from his balcony: “Oh, man, this Mark guy has had a hard time. I invited him to be a guest in my house, to do this film thing. We had these Scientologist people coming up here. And this is a monitored building and everything. One guy was threatening him. It’s all on videotape. I think it’s really strange. They had to put up a lot of money to clear out that area.”

We asked about the building’s manager, and Scottie said there’s a woman acting as manager at this time of day. Was she OK with Bunker filming? “We’re all together on it. These people are bombarding our front door, trying to get in here. They wanted to get here and throw his camera. No, you can’t do that, we told him. Mark’s a guest of mine. The Scientology guy had got in here under false pretenses, saying he was an officer of the law. But the lady made him leave.”

 
Bunker called again: “The crazy just keeps coming. So a police officer just came up here with a parking garage attendant, who was telling me that I didn’t have permission to be here. And I asked him, is this part of the parking garage? [Bunker had earlier told us that the apartment building he is in is adjacent to a parking garage.] No, it isn’t, but he was trying to convince the police officer that it was. Luckily the manager came by and said the attendant has no authority here. She said he has to leave. So the police officer said Ok, that’s it. Let’s leave. And I just put that exchange up on YouTube.”

Here are the three videos of this sequence. In the first one, we see John Allender, of Squirrel Busters fame…

 

 

 

 
Another call from Bunker: “The event’s ended. The ribbon came down, the balloons flew, and everyone is pouring into the building.”

“I taped his entire speech. Whether it’s any good, I can’t really tell. Whether the audio is salvageable, I’ll find out when I’m back at the hotel. But I got something, and that’s more than they wanted me to get.”

“And I didn’t get arrested as hard as they tried. I’m still a free man.”

One of the police officers took his information after they got him down from the top of the bar. Who knows if someone will press charges of some kind.

 
Photos from our own Bella Legosi. Oh look, everyone’s dressed up so nice!

 
PortlandBella1

 
A close-up view of plant-blocking tech!

 
PortlandBella2

 
A tantalizing peek. Which Portland dignitary got roped in?

 
PortlandBella3

 
There’s plenty more coming from Portland. Check out our Sunday Funnies tomorrow morning, where we’ll round up some of the additional footage that’s coming.

In the meantime, we were struck by this description of today’s events from former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder at his blog

Miscavige is terrified he will be mocked. He goes to astonishing lengths to prevent access to “public” events where he appears. He says NOTHING. It’s the same old drivel every time.

It’s a little contradictory for a church that claims it has an “open door policy”, “welcomes the community” and gets incredibly upset when anyone calls them “secretive”. What could possibly be the harm of the video going on the internet? You would think if they are REALLY trying to get new people in they would be happy to have his magnificent words seen by as many people as possible.

This Squirrelbuster-style effort to intimidate Mark Bunker and prevent him shooting the event at all costs comes across as pretty secretive to me. This event was apparently for “us” only.

Miscavige is becoming increasingly paranoid that something will put him in direct contact with the outside world. In his mind, anyone could be a protester or internet reader, or worse yet a reporter or OMG — a process server! His world is populated exclusively by sycophants inside his self-created bubble. Anyone seeking to enter his bubble uninvited is seen as a hostile agent trying to destroy his life.

It really does suck to be Miscavige. He lives a life of fear and paranoia.

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on May 11, 2013 at 15:50

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