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‘Will Smith is not a Scientologist’ — we elaborate on our quote the press went wild for yesterday

Will_Jada_SmithYour proprietor has been laid low by a virus right in the middle of all this intense publicity for Alex Gibney’s film, Going Clear. This is what we get for leaving the confines of the Bunker and interacting with germy human beings.

So we’re going to keep things short today, and trust our commenters to fill in by keeping an eye on all of the crazy press going on as we near the movie’s theatrical debut next week.

So we’ll start with yesterday’s Daily Beast article that took some people by surprise. In it, Mike Rinder and yours truly were quoted to say that Will Smith is not a Scientologist. We want to elaborate on that a little.

We have known for years that the dedicated Scientologist in the family was Will’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith. In 2008, the Smiths opened up a private school that used Scientology “Study Technology,” and also used ideas from Scientology “ethics.” The school was financed for three years by the Smiths, then struggled to bring in enough funding to continue, and it closed up in 2013.

We still have the only interview with the school’s first principal, Jacqueline Olivier, who told us about Will Smith enforcing the Scientology rules at the school.

But we had an excellent source very close to Will who told us that the actor was a dabbler who had an interest in all religions, “but belonged to none of them.” If Will enforced Scientology at the academy, it was an experiment he and his wife were trying seven years ago.

Rinder and your proprietor continue to monitor these kinds of things, and we each received new information that Will Smith’s fascination with Scientology is over. Our source on this is really very excellent, which is why we spoke so definitively to Marlow Stern, the Daily Beast reporter, whose story quoted us accurately throughout. We also believe that Jada has also ended her involvement.

We can already hear the questions. What about After Earth?. Well, After Earth was a very bad movie that made use of a lot of tired science fiction tropes, but Carnegie Mellon University professor Dave Touretzky pointed out that movie critics were quick to claim that there was a Scientology connection when he didn’t see one at all.

So, to sum up. Jada was really into the e-meter, and Will supported his wife’s interest by enforcing L. Ron Hubbard’s “technology” at their private school. But Will was only a dabbler, and today they’re both done with Scientology.

As for their kids — whoa, are they screwed up.

Moving on, we just wanted to make a minor observation, that the Hollywood Reporter could not have put a more confusing and ass-backwards headline on its story featuring a quote from us yesterday.

The observation we made was that to hardcore Sea Org members, the celebrities of Scientology aren’t really taken very seriously. And when Scientology leader David Miscavige anointed Tom Cruise in 2004 with a “freedom medal of valor” and named him the most important Scientologist in the world, many Sea Org members took it as a slap in the face. (We’ve talked to numerous people who were in the audience that night.)

However, even if Sea Org members have a complex relationship with Scientology’s celebrities, it was really misleading for The Hollywood Reporter to put this headline on the story, and leading with our quote: ‘Going Clear’ Filmmakers on How Scientology Sees Tom Cruise as “Useless”

No, that’s not what we said. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite of the film’s thrust, so it’s a shame to see that notion get turned around.

Finally, we appreciate all of the emails with links to a story that some of the tabs are pushing about a celebrity family member with some unusual claims: We’ll just say, please consider the source.

OK, back to the Nyquil. Thanks for the support!


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 5, 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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  • New blog post from Jeffrey Augustine covers the work of Stephen A. Kent, PhD
    Take a look at the Table of Contents and you will get an idea.

    “Brainwashing in Scientologyโ€™s Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF)”

    • beauty for ashes

      Just finished reading. I’m whooped. Good Night Dodo!

  • Mymy88

    Something that pissed me off to no end! What is wrong with people! Remember that really really stupid first question that was asked to the guys on the Times Talk? This group of distinguished intelligent men had just participated in one of the most incredible, amazing, fascinating, mind blowing, and awesome group interviews ever given.

    They then invite questions from the audience… This lady stands up and says “Did there used to be a $cien building next to 124 Street back in the 1970’s? Because that’s where I lived then.”

    Really lady? Why. in. the. fuck. would. anybody. care? Oh my god! I wanted reach through my laptop screen and… well never mind. What a waste of precious seconds with that garbage question. Whew, I’m okay. I just needed to vent.

    • Vaquera

      ๐Ÿ™‚ That is a seriously delayed reaction, Mymy88, but justified. I had the same thought at the time and decided that it was just a dud instance.

      Have you been marinating over that moment all this time, or did something tonight re-trigger your emotion?

      • Mymy88

        I watched it again tonight because there were a lot of interruptions going on around me the first time I watched it. I missed a lot more of it than I realized.

        • Vaquera

          Yeah, it was a dud of a first question, as was evidenced by all on the panel. Next!

          • Billy Bob

            Her and the guy that was in the New Alliance party.
            I saw a New York provincialism I had never suspected.
            Didn’t you say you lived in the village? Do you know my second cousin Linda? She moved to he village. I don’t remember her married name, but it’ll come to me.

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      I gotta admit that I was disappointed by the audience questions. Considering that the tickets cost $40 and the panel discussion was so fascinating and informative, I expected they’d be better.

  • AintMizBahavin

    Sir Hemet Tc Burlwood Viii you just made my year. i love that site also
    as i keep saying everyone has their own thoughts, beliefs and opinions
    its what we are all made of. but one doesnt negate the other and
    hopefully we can meet in the middle i am always open to change. but your
    opinion doesnt change my mine and name calling. me a conspiracy
    theorist is exactly how tavistock and the pharma mafia gets the people
    to believe what they want….

  • i-Betty

    I’m not sure whether I linked this here when we were in Dublin. The wonderfully warm and talented Spike Robinson wrote a song called “The Names on the Wall?” specifically for the Enough is Enough conference and it’s, well, you’ll see. Gulp.

    • Vaquera

      Thank you, i-Betty. If you linked it before, I miss it. “Before another one dies,” indeed.

      • i-Betty

        Morning, you ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Vaquera

          (chuckle) Morning, darlin’. I’m about to go scavening in my pantry for a 2:00+ a.m. snack of chips and salsa before tucking in for an evening’s rest.

          • i-Betty


            We’re such a community here that I always forget we don’t live in the same street, let alone country! Sweet dreams, darling ๐Ÿ™‚

            • Vaquera

              I’ll be around for a bit while spilling crumbs in the sheets. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • AintMizBahavin

    I want to thank all those who are encouraging me to stay.. but the more i read the more i see quite a few still calling me literally stupid thats what it amounts to.. so heres my last take on the subject of vaccinations…

    why would any unvaccinated kids be a threat to your vaccinated kids if you’re so sure vaccinations work???
    it would be the unvaccinated children who are the ones in danger. your babies are all vaccinated so they shouldnt in any shape form or fashion catch anything a unvaccinated child has only any other unvaccinated children would have to worry…its that question right there that sent me off to begin researching what is really going on with the vaccinations and immunizations.

    i love the bunker and everyone here for the diversity and for their unknowingly help me save my God Daughter from cos. and despite how anyone feels there is still the well documented stories of childrens lives destroyed once they were forced to get the vaccinations. but as i said im done we are all entitled to our opinions and yours doesn’t negate mines

    there is a reason the vaccinations are being pushed with force now…. rather then before all the new technology.

    GoodNight,Morning,Afternoon,Evening to all

    • Vaquera

      AintMizBahavin, please don’t leave because I posted a comment from a Scio parent about vaccines.

      I don’t know what comments insued after my link to Sarah Erhrilich’s facebook thread, but it was not my intention to alieninate any Bunker commenters.

      Please do not leave on account of my passing on a $cilon’s facebook comment.

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      Hello Ain’t! A lot of Bunkerites haven’t seen that discussion, including me. I probably only see and read about 20% of the comments, maybe less. Even when I have the time I tend to skip over the comments not directly related to CO$. I’d hate to think that anyone’s valuable input regarding the CO$, such as yours, could go missing due to an off-topic disagreement. I do understand that this could happen, due to hurt feelings but I want you to consider that this would not be beneficial to the overall common cause against the CO$. I (along with the vast majority of commenters) see value in everybody’s comments here, regardless of their popularity, point of view or if we completely agree with them.

    • Missionary Kid

      I know that AintMizBehavin isn’t reading this, but I thought I’d answer.

      Unvaccinated children are a threat for several reasons. First, there will always be children who are too young for vaccination. Second, there are people who cannot be vaccinated because of compromised immune systems.

      Since some vaccines were weakened in order to reduce side effects, particularly measles, it’s possible for vaccinated people to contract the disease. Measles is highly contagious. Unvaccinated people make the stopping of an epidemic far more difficult.

      In the case of polio, IIRC, (correct me if I’m wrong) if it weren’t for unvaccinated people who refuse to be vaccinated, it would have been eliminated, as has smallpox.

      • Ella Raitch

        I work in the public health system and a recent measles outbreak really stressed the system because of the precautions that had to be taken within the hospital and with staff, and the also the effort required for contact tracing, reporting etc. and that’s with > 80% herd immunity. The key issues (esp with measles) is, as you say, how very infectious it is.

        • Missionary Kid

          I’m not only old enough to have had both measles and mumps, but I have a mark on my thigh from my smallpox vaccination.

          I also remember getting the Salk polio vaccine and later the Sabin oral vaccine, and the feelings of relief from parents everywhere that didn’t have to fear polio attacking their kids.

          No vaccine is 100% good because there seem to be a very small percentage that have adverse reactions, but the odds are stacked hugely in favor of vaccinations.

          Just as in $cientology’s lies and anecdotes are not data, unless criteria are set for categorization of results and uniform, peer reviewed studies are conducted. It is good and necessary to examine results of studies and conclusions, but lies and fearmongering that have taken place connecting vaccinations to autism are a biological form of ludditeism.

          I wouldn’t care if someone wants to live on an isolated island, with no contact with the outside world, but by not vaccinating yourself or your children and living with the rest of society, you all have become potential human disease vectors that pose a danger to the rest of us.

    • Smokey Wallisa

      Please stay. However, respecting a person doesn’t mean I have to respect all of their opinions or their beliefs in the face of verifiable science. If a person tells me they believe the moon is made of cheese and inhabited by green men but is otherwise a great person I will give them respect but not credibility for their opinions on science.

    • Baby

      Oh Ain’t.. Seriously.. Maybe you missed it ..I can’t remember, but we really got into a big Pow Wow over Vaccinations a couple of weeks ago..

      So when it was mentioned again I thought, ” Uh OH..” You know..NO one sits on the fence about certain topics..

      Abortion.. Religion, Politics..AND Vaccinations..

      So just respect the fact that Vaccinations is an extremely HOT Button..


      Let’s fight this cult together sweetie.. I have chocolate.. xoxo love baby..

    • Donna Cline Sargent

      i sure hope i didn’t offend you,was not my intention,i also just gave my opinion.please don’t are a valued commenter.i apologize if i hurt your feelings.i really am sorry! ๐Ÿ™‚ you seem very nice and i enjoy your view! being against scientology is the most important thing.please have a nice day and come back. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Phil McKraken

      Aint, I echo the other comments about how you shouldn’t leave this place because of the strong disagreements over that vaccination thing. But I would add that that’s the way it goes on the Internet — and there’s not much you can do to avoid it if you are posting on a site where the niceties are not enforced by moderation and you may put out an unpopular position. All I can say is don’t take it personally, don’t get sidetracked when someone calls you names and stand up for your position. No one can promise you that you won’t be attacked or insulted.

    • ScnMonkeyNuts
  • Second blog post from Jeffrey Augustine tonight.
    The video is about 4 minutes and worth every second of it. More to come.

    Zac Hopkins: A Peek Inside My Cult
    “Zac Hopkins was born into Scientology. He is beginning to tell his story in videos”

    • Billy Bob

      Dodo,sir: Do you know how to post a link to YouTube without it embedding?

      • Not sure what you mean, Billy. I need more information on what you are trying to accomplish, sir.

        • Billy Bob

          A normal link is just the text, example
          A link to YouTube within Discus embeds the video screenshot of the URL onto the comment post as in your post above: a peek inside my cult.
          On other forums, With simple use of BB code (that does not work here) you could prevent embedding by placing the URL inside brackets within a command line.
          To override Discus normal operation I was told I could use HTML. I don’t know any HTML and just became confused when I looked it up because the documentation naturally includes all the not needed optional parameters. I figure someone here has figured out how to post a YouTube link without the screen shot, just a line of text.
          I approach you as a senior Bunkerite thinking you might know the command and line format.

          • I see. Not sure if it’s possible in Disqus and if it is, I’ve yet to learn it. Why though?
            Also, it sounds like you know more then I do about this stuff.
            And I am no senior Bunkerite, thank you though. ๐Ÿ™‚

            • Billy Bob

              Being here weeks < being here longer (a lot longer I think)

            • Sorry I am of no help on that. Feel free to ask any questions in future.

            • ObsessedReader

              “Senior” Dodo, hahaa! Well you do have a calm wisdom but are way too young and hot to be called a senior!

          • Rasha

            Ignore this comment for now, as I experiment with some inline code,….

            My Weather Link

            • Rasha

              Hope this works.

            • Billy Bob


            • Billy Bob

              You can make your own tag that will lead to the URL (see Ian below). Appears that once Discus identifies an embeddable vid it embeds it immediately into the entry before you even post. put it in first or last it doesn’t matter. You can even edit the post later and the vid still appears to be in the post!! I’ll experiment with that later.
              Thank you Rasa. You answered my question completely, even if the answer isn’t the one I was going for.

          • Rasha

            Billy, see below. I know – SLOPPIEST REPLY EVAR, but I had to experiment here to see if it works.

          • why? people post videos all the time like that and if you don’t like how it is, that seems to be your bag…..

            and it’s obvious you do know html….. o_O

    • Tsunetomo

      That is one seriously powerful vid.

    • Baby

      OMG.. This should be played before ” Going Clear.” It is THAT powerful.. Tears flowing..

      • sookiesookie

        It really is. I watched it 3 times and that song… All those images… I kept thinking about Marc Headley’s book, which I just read a few months ago, and I was crying too.

      • I agree

    • Donna Cline Sargent

      so powerful.i wish this would go viral and get on the news.i pray everyday for the downfall of scientology!

    • Mymy88

      Wow! That was amazing! Dang, I wish it would go viral.

    • susyqobserver

      my mother always told me “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all.” i appreciate the effort of this video.with candidness I must say that I got bored about 15 seconds in with the intro. I do video production and I’m a writer in advertising marketing and PR. In today’s A.D.D society, probably me included – lol.? constructive criticism: I sincerely lost interest really quick it was too long, yawn – perhaps lower the music and bring up the sound bites of Scientologists and DM – some food for thought. great topic though

      • Thanks for your input. Cool avy.

        • susyqobserver

          Thank u! ๐Ÿ™‚ best wishes

  • Message to Mark Foster: I hope you enjoy your unauthorized vacation from the Bunker.
    And feel free to say hi too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Juicer77

      We miss you, Mark!

    • daytoncapri

      Mark! Get in here!

  • Missionary Kid

    I’ve been away from the Bunker for about 5 hours. Has anyone posted if tickets for Going Clear are available in Hollywood?

  • Comment 2015. We are up to date now.

  • Pierrot

    *** RED X +โ€“+** RED X ** +โ€“+ RED X *** Friday the 6th of March
    Good day All, better late than never,
    The new Tab SpamTrackโ€ is meant to help you identify possible spams that can be reported to CL.
    It is created daily by sorting all the ads in Region/City and description sequence so that matching titles come together.
    RedX write up :
    RedX spreadsheet:
    DONโ€™T route out, BLOW, Get HELP, get OUT. CALL 1-866-XSEAORG

    From the Thursdayโ€™s funnies at M.Rinder, I could not resist to try a little shoop of my own!

    • Good work on branching into shooping and otherwise, Pierrot!

    • Juicer77

      Good job ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I wonder what’s for breakfast in the Bunker?

    • Jack99

      “Danny Masterson: I saw the fucking film, and I’m no longer a fucking scientologist.”

      • Ella Raitch

        That’s almost as good as bacon (but not quite)

    • Ella Raitch

      Bacon is a popular choice

      • NOLAGirl

        Did someone say bacon? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • MrsLurksALot


    • Juicer77

      Is this a hint about the new project?

    • flyonthewall

      she is HOT! HOT! HOT!

    • Mymy88

      I LOVED this episode! I know the actors had to put a lot of work into but it paid off. It was amazing!

  • Ardent

    Going away for the weekend. I’ll miss you Guys and Gals but I’ll be back by Tuesday. Best to all,

  • Gene Trujillo

    I was only ever a Class V staffer, but when I heard about Miscavige saying that about Cruise I felt like it was a slap in the face as well. Cruise has not given up all aspiration for material wealth to help others, he doesn’t work hundred hour weeks for free in service to mankind. He doesn’t sacrifice anything, he is just an entitled celebrity who benefits from their slave labor while Miscavige strokes his ego.

  • Scientology Is A Dead-End Road

    I saw the CBS Morning Show on Scientology with Wright and Gibney. It was about 8 minutes long and quite well done, not pulling the punches. Much better than things that ABC has done, where the whole tone seemed to regulated by lawyer-thought.

  • dagobarbz

    Once upon a time, Will Smith was the Prince of Bel Aire, a non-threatening black guy like Cosby, hugely popular. Movies like MIB didn’t hurt his popularity. Then he meets Tom Cruise, starts this Scientology nonsense, and his career goes dark. One fail after another of unlikeable characters and annoying plots.

    So he may not be a Scientologist, but he’s certainly suffered from the taint. And his kids are idiots.

  • Spike Robinson

    Okay, Tony – drop the NyQuil! or, at least put it aside, as you’ll need it, but only as an ingredient.

    I humbly present: Auntie-Spike’s cure-all cold elixir. Take:

    1 can lemon seltzer-water
    2 dollops lemon juice
    3 Halls mentholyptus cough drops
    1 package alka-seltzer
    1 teabag Chamomile tea
    3 large dollops of NyQuil
    3 dollops honey
    1 jigger whisky

    Put seltzer, lemon juice, tea, and whisky in large mug in microwave until liquid is steaming hot. Add NyQuil, alka-seltzer tablets, cough drops and honey – stir well and let cool.

    Drink with nose held – it WILL taste awful.

    Put down mug quickly before passing out.

    Sleep well to continue the fight tomorrow.

    I hope you feel better soon, Tony! the world needs you!

    • daytoncapri

      “Tony! the world needs you!”


  • Tory Christman

    Tony! So sorry to hear you’re feeling under the weather. Sending love and healing wishes to you, immediately.
    As far as this: “No, thatโ€™s not what we said. In fact, itโ€™s pretty much the opposite of
    the filmโ€™s thrust, so itโ€™s a shame to see that notion get turned around.” Gawd is that the truth!

    One thing I’ve learned, and I’m sure you know inside and out, is that the last say is always the editors.
    So with that…often things get twisted around.

    Meantime: the world is loving every thing you’ve helped create here at the Bunker,
    and the Documentary is COMING!! Woooooooooooohooooooooooooo!
    (((Hugs))) Tory/Magoo

  • susyqobserver

    Glad to hear Will Smith was/is only a dabbler. Still, cray cray his wife’s reported leanings toward Scientology – hooray. Their kids. Their interviews. Wish ’em well post odd reports.

  • Guest

    Random test post. Derp.