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Video Vault: L. Ron Hubbard at his campiest, in 1960’s State of Man Congress!

StateOfManL. Ron Hubbard is at his campiest in a 1960 lecture that is featured in this week’s “quote video” supplied by our secret source. Hubbard was born in Nebraska, grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and spent a lot of time in places like New York and Los Angeles for his writing career. But where he picked up his odd way of speaking is really a mystery. He was a product of his time, for sure, but that doesn’t really explain all of his verbal tics. Get a load of how he says “autoMOEbeel” for example. Once you notice it, you can’t shake it.

The excerpt you’re going to hear is from the State of Man Congress, specifically about “overts” — transgressions that we’ve committed against another person. Here’s how Bridge Publications describes the Congress, which you can pick up for $125.00…

“Beginning with Book One in 1950, and continuing through each successive year, it was a decade of monumental discoveries and milestone technology towards the goal of Clear. Here, then, is the Congress that launched the next decade, and set the whole of Scientology towards Operating Thetan. It all followed from the very definition of OT as ‘knowing and willing cause over all dynamics.’ For while all earlier efforts were aimed at clearing people on the First Dynamic, L. Ron Hubbard opened this one with the startling announcement: “What I’ve arrived at this Congress with was how to clear them on the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Dynamics.” While even more startling was the breakthrough that made it possible: Responsibility and the watershed technology of Overts and Withholds. Here, then, is technology spanning every dynamic from the individual, to marriage, to entire governments.”

Well all right. Take it away, L. Ron….



Once again, we asked Marc Headley to watch the video and tell us what he could about its production. Here’s what he told us…

This video is chock full of Int Base staff. First we have some guys who somehow get into a fender bender in an empty parking lot. Can’t get less “cause” than that. The guy in the hospital bed right after that is Martin Reid. Martin was in the electrical department at the base for the entire time I was there. I think his greatest claim to fame at the Int Base was designing the main high voltage electrical panel for the multimillion dollar RTC building in the wall on the other side of Dave Miscavige’s personal shower. That was pretty awesome.

The race car guy was in CMO Int. He left ages ago. The tall guy at the collector car dealership is Hans Hasselburger. He was in CMO Int and I have no idea where he is these days. The young guy we see next, Christian Leake, was married to Roanne Hubbard Horwich and he is still at the base. He is in the Visual Effects department.

The guy we see next looking in a car window is Charles Johnson. He was in RTC for a long time and then was busted into Gold and was running a plastic lamination machine the last time I saw him.

The guy we see sitting at the table with the kid was a finance guy, Charles Watts, that also got busted into Gold and was in the Cine Division working in the Film Lab when I left.

The guy getting in the car is Mats Markowitz. A solid citizen who worked in engineering from, I think, Sweden.

The next guy we see who is recognizable to me (3:07) is Bob “Waldo” Waldman. He was in one of the most famous films that was shot by Hubbard himself. He co-starred in the film with Dan Koon, who has long since left the base. Waldo was in the Grounds department for the entire 15 years I was at the base and his specialty was mowing lawns.

This whole video has Hubbard talking about how not to get in car accidents by not committing overts against cars. All I can say about that is that we had more wrecked cars at the Int Base when I was there than I have ever seen anywhere else. Folks there must have been stacking up the crimes against automobiles.

Thanks again, Marc. Your annotations are always eye-opening.


All apologies, all the time

J. Gordon Melton protégé Bernard Doherty is at it again. A couple of years ago (almost to the day) the Australian-born, Baylor University-educated religious studies scholar got us worked up over his classic apologist approach to Scientology in a lengthy piece for the Australian ABC network’s website. Here was how we characterized it then…

This stuff practically writes itself, but you’ll see that all of the classics are there — all religions ask for money, all religions have their own schools, all religions have ascetic societies that require a lot of dedication, the RPF is just a “stint” done voluntarily, other religions also run drug rehab centers, etc.

The sheer cynicism of this report is astonishing, but our readers are already well aware of why this kind of comparison to other religions breaks down extremely fast. No, other religions do not ask for $1,000 an hour for religious counseling; no, other religions do not run schools which are designed to feed organizations like the Sea Org; equating the Sea Org with medieval monastic orders does not, in fact, excuse it from the extreme hardships it visits upon people like Claire Headley, who was forced to have two abortions or give up her relationship with her husband; no, the RPF is not “voluntary,” and it now lasts years and not months of cruel hardship and degredation; and does he really want to defend drug rehab centers that have no actual medical personnel and deliver dangerous processes on society’s weakest?

Now, Doherty is back with a lengthy article in Nova Religio — the same academic organ which has printed some of Hugh Urban’s actual scholarship about the origin and controversies of Scientology.

This time, Doherty takes on the Australian media in a piece titled “Sensational Scientology!” In it, he delivers his euphuistic descriptions of Scientology which manage somehow to bring up the church’s controversies and yet dismiss them practically at the same time…

“Quite apart from the threat of lawsuits, the church has been accused of a variety of extralegal actions against critics, either real or perceived.”

“Paradoxically, while Scientology has developed a reputation for hostility toward the media, it has attempted to sway public opinion by courting celebrities and using high-production values in its promotional material.”

But Doherty’s beef (cloaked in an academic’s pose of indifference) is with Senator Nick Xenophon and Bryan Seymour, who was then of Today/Tonight.

Doherty says that Seymour and other “tabloid” TV journalists have been looking into allegations of forced labor, confinement, and forced abortions, along with allegations of financial “anomalies” and human rights abuses.

And yet, Doherty wonders not at how a relatively small church could be the source of so much controversy and documented abuse. Instead, it’s the TV shows he marvels at: “In Australia, Scientology has been a dream come true for producers and journalists at ratings-conscious networks.”

After subtly characterizing Xenophon’s efforts as ill-advised and contrary to religious freedom, Doherty then looks at how tabloid TV coverage has “compromised” the “fair and balanced (or watchdog) media coverage of new religions.”

He takes a swipe at reporters who have “little personal or educational background in religion,” and who are unable to understand “nuances.”

As an example, he cites Bryan Seymour describing Scientology’s “Fair Game” policy, which directs the church to retaliate against perceived enemies, including journalists.

“What the report failed to mention was that Fair Game had ceased to be officially sanctioned in 1968 following widespread public criticism of the practice,” Doherty writes — but then hastens to add, “It is widely asserted by former members, however, that the tactic continues to be actively employed.”

You see what Doherty did there? Seymour was too uneducated, or something, to know that Fair Game was no longer a thing — and the people who say it still exists are merely “former members.”

Academic religious studies types, like Doherty, love to run down former members, dismissing them as having little reliable information that a researcher could use. So naturally Doherty’s not going to bring up Marty Rathbun or Mike Rinder, who were not only in Scientology for decades, and actually ran Fair Game operations many years after Hubbard’s supposed 1968 retraction.

Doherty comes off throughout the piece as the classic religious studies academic who sounds personally offended that press coverage of Scientology’s abuses somehow harms other “new religions” or perhaps even Doherty’s own concept of a personal God. (First they came for the Scientologists and I said nothing…etc.)

And by the end, he’s made it quite clear that he’s offended how damaging “tabloid” television coverage of Scientology is to new religions in general.

But Doherty’s timing could not be worse.

His article appears the same week that here in the U.S., the dean of Scientology reporters, Joe Childs at the Tampa Bay Times, published a devastating expose of Scientology’s toxic policy of “disconnection.” Sober, serious, and drenched with documented facts, Joe’s piece could not be further than a “tabloid” report — and yet, it dovetails perfectly with the kinds of stories that Bryan Seymour was doing at Today/Tonight.

And even worse for Doherty’s thesis, Australia is bracing for impact as this Sunday, its 60 Minutes program will feature Marty Rathbun in what looks like a major report.

Again, it’s not tabloid television, and yet it’s looking into the same allegations that Bryan Seymour had been doing for years.

And it’s not like Australia’s more serious television news organizations are only now turning their eyes towards David Miscavige’s organization and its retaliation schemes.

Glaringly absent from Doherty’s piece is any mention of Steve Cannane, a serious investigative television journalist who broke very important stories about Scientology at the same time that Bryan Seymour was doing his segments at Today/Tonight.

So what does it say that Cannane and Seymour were both working on simliar stories? Only this: that there are different styles of news presentation. But you know what? Ultimately, all of us — major networks, local stations, big newsapapers, and small websites — we all operate under the same rules. If we get things wrong, we can get sued.

And that didn’t happen with Bryan Seymour or Steve Cannane. Because although their styles of presentation were radically different, the news they pursued, the people they talked to, and ultimately the conclusions they came to were remarkably similar. And they’re the same conclusions we’ve reached here at the Underground Bunker: That it’s astonishing that acts of abuse, examples of confinement, documented cases of retaliation, and yards of court documents prove the bullying nature of Scientology, which still goes on, year after year.

That’s the story, Doherty, not the reporters who make you uncomfortable for their focus on “new religions.”


Valley Ideal Org going through changes?

An alert reader sent us this next photo. She knew, from the Bunker’s older photos, what the vaunted Valley Org looked like, including a gaudy decal over its big double doors. But she noticed this week that the decal is now missing…


Does anyone know what’s happening with the Valley Ideal Org, and if it’s hit on hard times?


Scientology goes Capitalist

Karen de la Carriere has a special treat for Bunker regulars in her latest video…



Here comes History!

So it looks like we didn’t get left on the cutting room floor after all. Here’s the description for the “America’s Book of Secrets” episode we were telling you about, which will premiere on History Channel Two on Saturday, March 29 at 10 pm….

It is one of the most secret organizations in America. A religion — based on the cosmic revelations of an inspired genius — that boasts more than 100,000 faithful followers throughout the world. We’ll reveal the hidden origins, strict doctrine, secret language and celebrity allure of the wealthy and influential institution. Former Scientologists disclose the reasons they were drawn to the church — and why they left. Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Scientology’s current leader, David Miscavige, describes her difficult experiences inside the organization. Former church executive, Mark Rathbun, demonstrates Scientology’s most revered spiritual technology — the “E-Meter.” And watchdog Tony Ortega explains the appeal of Scientology that draws in new members. Find out why some consider Scientology a spiritual choice and others consider it a road to ruin.

PS: We’re still trying to nail down that breaking story we were following the other day. We’ll get it to you as soon as we can!


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 21, 2014 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to 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.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS (We read Scientology’s founding text) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN (Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer


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