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What Howard Stern should have asked Kirstie Alley about Scientology

Back in the day, still infested with space cooties.

Back in the day, still infested with space cooties.

When did Howard Stern become such a doormat?

Yesterday, once again, he had actress Kirstie Alley on his show, and once again he let her off easy regarding her involvement in Scientology and her rivalry with Leah Remini.

The last time Alley was on, she called Remini a “bigot” after Remini had left Scientology and then made public that her former friends in the organization had dropped her like a hot potato — a result of Scientology’s “disconnection” policy.

This time, Kirstie wanted Stern to believe that her smack talk about Remini was all just “water under the bridge.” But a moment later she asked, “If a lot of people are rejecting you, at some point you gotta ask, ‘What am I doing?'”

So yeah, Kirstie still blames Remini herself for losing all of her Scientology friends. And we still stick by our reporting in the summer of 2013, when we not only broke the Remini story but also the news that Alley had called for an emergency meeting with Scientology staffers and other celebrities to plan how to deal with the fallout. Kirstie is still the mean girl on the Scientology celebrity playground, and she’s not really trying to hide it.

But anyway, as Kirstie says, that’s not really very important anyway. Scientology has been unable to stop Remini as she landed a spot in Dancing with the Stars and was the subject of her own reality show. Leaving the church hasn’t appeared to harm her at all.


Alley, meanwhile, has been very active in Scientology recently, finishing up Operating Thetan Level Seven — a step on Scientology’s “Bridge to Total Freedom” that can take years to finish — and she also completed Super Power.

Stern had apparently been told about Alley’s completion of OT 7, and he asked her about it. But then he let her get away with this whitewash…

“It means that you have gotten rid of all the things that would create aberrant behavior in you that you didn’t want,” Alley said.

Robin Quivers joked, “It doesn’t mean that you’re from space or you can levitate?”

No, Robin, that’s not what it means. But we wish you or Stern would either learn something about Scientology or have on somebody who already understands it. (Marc Headley has been trying to get himself on Stern’s show for years, for example, and he’d be an amazing guest.)

Alley’s answer was really pretty cute. Yes, OT 7 is about having “gotten rid of all the things…that you didn’t want,” but what she didn’t say was that the things you get rid of on OT 7 are the last of your “body thetans” — unseen entities that a Scientologist will have been struggling to chase away since learning of their existence in OT 3.

Why is it off limits to ask a Scientologist about this? It’s all quite well established after years of lawsuits and document leaks and the defection of thousands of former members, many of whom have spoken out about how things work on The Bridge, and all with total consistency. (Don’t believe us? Here, listen to L. Ron Hubbard and his wife Mary Sue come up with the ideas for these entities in 1952, about 15 years before he scribbled out the story of Xenu in OT 3. And here you can see the OT 3 materials in Hubbard’s own handwriting.) At OT 3, there is no doubt, Scientologists learn that we are all not just individuals, but that we’re each carrying around thousands of these unseen entities, each with their own histories and memories and traumas.

One of the best descriptions of what it’s like to go through OT 3 we heard from Lawrence Wollersheim when we interviewed him more than a decade ago…

“OT 3 totally shatters the core sense of identity. The central concept of mind control is attacking the core personality, the threat that you are not who you think you are. At OT 3, you find out that you’re really thousands of individual beings struggling for control of your body. Aliens left over from space wars that are giving you cancer or making you crazy or making you impotent. The reason for every bad thing in your life is these alien beings,” Wollersheim says. “I went psychotic on OT III. I lost a sense of who I was.” Years can be spent removing these aliens — called “body thetans” or “BT’s” — by talking to and about these supposed hitchhiking entities while holding onto a device called an “e-meter.” “You’re talking to thousands of beings. They have histories. And anger. They’re complex personalities.”

After learning that these unseen space cooties are hovering inside and around you, the next several levels of Scientology — from OT 4 to OT 7 — are spent trying to locate and then chase away these entities. (For what specifically is done on OT 7, read our previous story on it.)

And it’s not cheap. In our series, “Up the Bridge,” we consulted actual Scientology price lists as well as several expert former members, and estimated costs for each level. The exorcism of body-thetans on levels OT 3 to OT 7 would run a total of $121,421.25, we found, with OT 7 making up about half of that total.

So what’s wrong with asking Kirstie Alley, hey, was it really worth it to spend 50 or 60 grand and several years of your life chasing away the last of your space cooties on OT 7? Isn’t that exactly the kind of question a so-called “shock jock” would love to ask, given half the chance?

But Stern missed that opportunity. He also didn’t take the chance to ask Alley what she thought about Scientology’s drug rehab network Narconon — which she has endorsed — getting into so much trouble with patient deaths and dozens of lawsuits, as well as government investigations. He might have also asked her about some of the things raised in Lawrence Wright’s book Going Clear, and what she thinks about HBO turning that book into a movie, which is premiering at the Sundance Film Festival later this month. And so many other things about Scientology and its numerous crises.

Here, listen to the interview yourself, and just imagine what might have been if Stern had actually taken the time to do a little preparation…



Bonus photos from our tipsters

Aspiring actress Leah Haile posted a photo to her Instagram account to show what it’s like to stand in a long Los Angeles casting line…


…and then posted this photo with the caption, “In line and we keep getting freaking Scientology fliers. Stop with the craziness!”


The caption on this shot by another Instagram user reads, “Annual #Scientology ski trip at #snowshoe was a success! Converted so many new believers including bachelorette Betty! #Bessie #LRonHubbard”


The person who posted this shot to Instagram claims that it’s from inside Scientology’s London org, but says, “I swear to god i’m not a scientologist”


According to this Instagram user, this infinity symbol hangs somewhere in Scientology’s Flag Building (a/k/a “Super Power” Building) in Clearwater, Florida…


Clown prince Grant Cardone applies his tongue to a gold bar…


Andrea joins staff in South Texas!


Looks like it’s a lovely day today in Melbourne…


Scientologists are using social media more than ever. Drop us a line if you spot them posting images to Instagram or Facebook!


12 days until Alex Gibney’s film Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief opens at the Sundance Film Festival at 2:30 pm on Sunday, January 25 in Park City, Utah


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 13, 2015 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 cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward

UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

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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