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Scientology’s 2014 in review: New lawsuits and a house for sale in August!

Chisle1aWith the new year only days away, we’re still looking back at the most significant stories we covered at the Bunker in 2014.

Join us as we look through the best stories of August.

The month started out with some silly celebrity news — Kirstie Alley’s furor over her former friend Leah Remini leaving Scientology had caused her to give up on a former very close male friend — dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy — and we learned that she’d also cut off ties from Serge Onik, and in both cases because the men had spent time hanging out with Remini. So high school.

Three days later, we posted yet another wonderful Scientology testimonial video.

On August 13, we paid tribute to one of the finest people we’ve met in our 19 years covering Scientology. Denise Brennan did not have an easy time in her life as a former longtime Sea Org worker who had decided to go public about her experiences. But we have met few people who were kinder or more generous. Denise was one of the most important former members ever to speak out because of her knowledge of Scientology’s “corporate sort-out” (reorganization) of the early 1980s. But it’s her humanity that we’ll miss most of all.

The next day, we had better news: Kate Bornstein had kicked cancer’s ass. We want Kate around for a very long time.

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On August 18, we were able to report that the story we’d broken a year earlier — that Mary Sue Hubbard’s house was finally on the market after the death of her dog allowed the sale — finally came true. We had been told that Scientology officials were so angry when we broke the story in 2013, they had kept the house off the market an extra year just to cool off. As we predicted, it was listed at $2.5 million, but last month it sold after three months for a little less — $2.1 million.

The next day, one of the biggest stories of the year broke: Kim Poff and Michael DeLong, two state employees with Oklahoma’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, filed lawsuits against the state for firing them after the investigation they did of Scientology’s flagship drug rehab facility was suppressed. Poff and DeLong had looked into patient deaths at Narconon Arrowhead and had concluded that there was plenty of wrongdoing and the facility should be shut down. But their bosses were so afraid of taking on Scientology, they alleged, the report was buried and they were later fired.

Meanwhile, Scientology keeps plugging away, almost entirely consumed now simply with raising money from its members for building projects it doesn’t need. And in order to motivate members who have constantly pressured for donations, local churches come up with themed parties and themed fliers and themed videos, and finally, this is the result — a video so mindblowingly awful, we called it a “perfect distillation of Scientology as it exists in 2014.”

A LOOK BACK AT AUGUST 2013: Leah Remini filed a missing-person report on Shelly Miscavige, PZ Myers read A History of Man with us, Gerry Armstrong helped us tell his tale, and Monique Rathbun filed her harassment lawsuit.

 
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Sunday Funnies

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Bonus photos from our tipsters

Some additional images from last night’s New Year’s Eve celebration at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, which were posted to Instagram.

 
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Actress Denice Duff posted this odd split photo of herself practicing at the Shrine…

 
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And then a shot of herself receiving a Volunteer Ministers award, for the 11th year in a row, she says…

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on December 28, 2014 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.

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, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48

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, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

 

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