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These are the superpowers Scientologists are paying big bucks to attain

AdvanceCoverDuring our time at the Village Voice one of our readers’ favorite features were the “OT Phenomena” we dug out of old copies of Advance! magazine.

Jefferson Hawkins, who at one time edited the magazine, told us that “OT Phenomena” was the most popular feature in the publication. It featured the tantalizing tales of superhuman abilities that were being experienced by Scientologists who had reached the “Operating Thetan” or “OT” levels — the highest and most expensive courses in the pay-as-you-go organization.

Claire Headley and other former Scientology members have told us how much beginners are hooked with the idea that some day they will be OT as well, and so these tales of OT abilities are a powerful incentive to keep going up the “Bridge to Total Freedom.”

But from the outside, the OT Phenomena struck us as surprisingly ephemeral. Scientologists pay huge sums to reach OT — up to about half a million dollars — and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard spoke of having mastery over matter, energy, space and time. With that kind of investment and those kinds of promises, we found it curious that Scientologists writing in to the magazine were experiencing “miracles” like finding choice parking spots or finding lost household items. Many of them were little more than unconfirmable ghost stories that the gullible might find convincing.

One of our tipsters sent us the newest edition of Advance!, issue 208, which just came out. We were curious — had OT Phenomena improved, or were they still much like they were in the 1970s?

We decided to excerpt a few from the issue and share them with you. We look forward to your comments.




About 3:00 a.m. one morning, I suddenly woke up after seeing a very clear picture of a friend of mine who lives on the other side of the country. He was looking directly at me and said, “We’ll do it again, okay?” I couldn’t wait for a proper hour to call. So I placed a long-distance call to him and asked, “Do what again?” He laughed, validated my perception and said, “Get together again this weekend, like we did last month.” I got his schedule of arrival for the weekend and other OT friends of mine and I’ll definitely be there for some good OT comm with them. —M.G.

He placed a long-distance call! Do people still do that? Was it a trunk call? Station-to-station? Hey, maybe it was on a party line! Anyway, so let’s put this on the OT list — keep in touch with other OTs telepathically. How handy!



One day while I was still on OT III, I was sitting at my desk at work. I typed a word on my screen which was don’t and I suddenly had this concept come into my universe about the words don’t and won’t. (Now, won’t you would think would be spelled willn’t, if you were following the general rules of grammar.) I don’t normally get significant about words and why a word is this way or that. But for some reason, I was stuck on this. So, I sent a text message to a friend of mine who is a school teacher and explained my question. Not that I particularly cared that much, but it was just kind of a comment. Later that day, that same friend and I were talking and she asked me if I had been spying on her classroom. I said “No, why?” She said that earlier that day, she was having her students write essays and a couple of the kids started talking. She went over there and asked what was going on, because they were supposed to be writing essays — not talking. They said “No, it is important.” They were having a discussion about why it is won’t instead of willn’t. Right after she got back to her desk she received my text. She was shocked. I must have perceived that comm cycle and was participating in that particular debate. —M.S.

Imagine the fun you’ll have parsing grammar questions with the knowledge that somewhere, at the same time, someone else is also pondering the same thing. Is this universe on fire or what?



I was standing at a bus stop in the inner suburbs of my city on a road with heavy traffic at 8:00 a.m. I was running late and was wondering how I was going to keep my early appointment, knowing full well that the majority of buses would be full and would not stop for me. Then a taxi approached traveling in the opposite direction. The driver’s eyes and mine made contact for a 100th of a second and then he had passed. The taxi then made an illegal turn and 60 seconds later he pulled up right in front of me and 20 surprised commuters. I got in the taxi and was on my way. There had been no other physical contact between us other than fleeting eye contact. I marvelled at the power of postulates and OT intention. —R.C.

Hail a cab with the powers of your mind! Does Uber know about this?



I was in a hurry on the motorway, going pretty fast in a small two-door car and trying to keep the amount of car lengths needed for the speed I was going. The traffic was getting kind of cramped though, and I was pretty close to a large van in front of me. All of the sudden somebody cut off the van. The van lost control trying not to hit the other car, turned sideways and flew up in the air. I had no time to think, so I slowed down time above me and sped up time below the van and drove right under the van while it was in the air. Luckily I had a small car, so I passed under the van without a scratch. My friend in the passenger seat looked at me in amazement. He said, “How did you do that? It was like magic.” —T.S.

Ah, here finally we get some superhero action! Slowing down time in one area and speeding it up in another — now that’s worth half a million bucks. Somebody get us on the Bridge, quick!


Italian exorcists target Scientology for its Satanic evil

We love this story. It’s a wild one out of Sicily. According to the newspaper L’Ora, 40 Catholic priests who want to learn how to perform exorcisms are holding a conference near the town of Monreale for the purpose of holding a “Congress against Satan.”

According to L’Ora, the participants are being pretty tight-lipped about the conference agenda, but it leaked out that one of the things they’re going to be discussing is Scientology.

“Regarding Scientology, the priests who have sworn to wage a war without borders against the devil are considering the statements of former members of the organization, who are ready to swear on the Satanic nature of the association founded in 1954 by L. Ron Hubbard,” the newspaper says.

Scientology got wind of the conference, and responded that it was not a satanic religion, and instead is a fast-growing faith experiencing unprecedented expansion, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Well, we think it’s quaint that these earnest young Lucifer-fighters want to take on Scientology. But no doubt we’ll hear from OTO fans in the comments that Aleister Crowley’s brand of thelema, which Hubbard borrowed from heavily when he dreamed up Scientology, is an occult pursuit but not technically Satanic.

Countering that, however, is the original OT 8, one of the last things Hubbard wrote for Scientology and not revealed until 1988, two years after his death, in which he announced that he would be returning to earth as the Antichrist.

Satanic? Not Satanic? We don’t really think it makes much difference. The stuff only promises to hail you a cab for half a million dollars, and that doesn’t seem very Prince of Darkness to us. But what do we know.

Carry on, you priests of Sicily!


Karen de la Carriere on Scientology and Craigslist

Karen de la Carriere and Jeffrey Augustine have another fun video for us, this time looking at the battle between Anonymous and Scientology’s deceptive ads on Craigslist.



Bonus photos from our tipsters

Somewhere in Taiwan (you don’t seriously care exactly where, do you?) “Human Rights” are being championed by Scientology’s stalwart warriors…


Narconon Balkans doing its best to make a Drug-Free Macedonia!


Hey, get those Latvian kids copies of The Way To Happiness when they’re young!


Don’t miss this special event, super heroes in search of an Ideal Org! Oh, they know how to party in Buenos Aires…


David Duggan’s latest, with this caption: “Not enough words in the English language to represent the relevance.”


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


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 11, 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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