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Scientology’s 2013 in review: Madness set in as spring arrived!

SMERSH_MadnessWe want to wish a happy Boxing Day to our Commonwealth friends as we continue our look back at the year that was.

On March 1 we launched SMERSH MADNESS — our very own tournament of champions. On that first day, we pitted L. Ron Hubbard against Australian journalist Steve Cannane, and Hubbard won by only a single vote!

On March 4, we published a major leak of internal Scientology documents. We carefully excerpted material from the secret “life histories” that Sea Org members are required to write about themselves. For some bizarre reason, Scientology is particularly interested in a Sea Org member’s sexual history and masturbatory habits, and with these excerpts we showed how young people are compelled to describe things an employer should never have the right to know.

The next day, a milestone: We began our training as Scientologists. With the help of Claire Headley, who once oversaw the counseling of Tom Cruise, we began going through every level of Scientology coursework, learning what it’s like to become a Scientologist and also what it costs. Nine months later we’ve added Bruce Hines to the project, and we’ll be reaching OT 4 after the holidays.

On March 7, we reported that Narconon Arrowhead CEO Gary Smith had lost his professional counseling certification as Scientology’s drug rehab network’s problems deepened.

On March 11, a killer leak of Narconon documents, courtesy of Mary McConnell — actual “scripts” used to fool unsuspecting potential customers by Narconon facilities in California. We heard later through the grapevine that law enforcement was particularly interested in this story.

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Mid-month, Tiziano Lugli debuted another powerful video featuring ex-Scientologists. General Hospital had fun with the Miscavige Hospital for the Criminally Insane. And Luke Catton published his book about working as the president of Narconon Arrowhead, which was hit in March with five new lawsuits.

On the 27th, we were smuggled an audio recording of David Miscavige speaking at the annual L. Ron Hubbard birthday event. As usual, Dave said it was the greatest point for Scientology in its history.

And on the final day of the month, SMERSH MADNESS concluded with the big championship match-up: Tampa Bay Times writers Tom Tobin and Joe Childs bested Operation Clambake for the win!

We started the month of April with another damning leak from Narconon — proof that its own legal affairs officer says there’s no scientific basis for the high success rate it claims.

We remembered Diane Colletto on the day she would have turned 60.

On the 5th, we live-blogged Rock Center‘s first show on Narconon Arrowhead. And then we live-blogged the Writers of the Future contest nine days later.

On the 17th, we had a new glimpse inside Scientology’s International Base with the most complete telling yet about the disappearance of Shelly Miscavige. We called it, “Love in the time of Miscavige.”

There were several big developments in the Garcia fraud lawsuit, including a declaration by Marty Rathbun.

Then, on the 26th, law enforcement officials raided the Narconon center in Georgia! We’re still waiting to hear about criminal prosecutions resulting from the documents that were taken.

Tomorrow: On to May!

 
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Our very own ‘Catfish’

We have spoken with ‘Monkeyknickers’ and her father. We are convinced that our readers have been “catfished” by a woman who needs some serious help.

We have amassed a large amount of information about the woman who spun various tales in our comments section — tales that we now believe to be completely untrue. For her sake we’re not going to go into more detail at this time.

Like other fabricators, she continues to insist that she’s telling the truth even in the face of overwhelming evidence which says otherwise. If she shows up and continues to spin tales, we will address them at that point. For now, we would prefer that she simply go away.

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on December 26, 2013 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

 

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