Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Hey, Star magazine, why is Tom Cruise afraid of Aussie journo Bryan Seymour?


Back on July 2, your proprietor asked his colleagues for some help. Star magazine had announced that Tom Cruise was leaving Scientology, and we thought it was awfully convenient for the story to come out just a few weeks before the press circus around Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation starts up. Now, with so many other media outlets repeating the Star’s fact-free story like it was gospel, entertainment reporters would be off the hook, and wouldn’t have to hit Tom with tough questions about Alex Gibney’s documentary Going Clear.

For fun, since we assumed Star had been played by Tom’s PR people, we asked a few fellow reporters to help us compile a list of tough questions that reporters should ask Cruise when he finally makes himself available in advance of the movie.

No one sent us better questions than our friends Down Under, Australian television journalists Steve Cannane and Bryan Seymour.

Here are just the first three questions Seymour sent over…


— What do you say to the female Scientologists forced to have abortions?

— What did you know about Scientology bugging your ex-wife Nicole while you were together?

— Did David Miscavige ever assault you as he has dozens of Scientologists?

Whew, that’s good stuff. But can you imagine the cream puffs who work at Entertainment Tonight hitting Tom with this stuff? Yeah, neither can we.

Anyway, imagine our surprise when Bryan emailed us last night, letting us know that his country’s biggest newspaper, The Australian, had written a story explaining that Paramount Pictures, in advance of the movie, has let Channel 7 know that the one journalist on their roster Tom Cruise will not talk to is Bryan Seymour!

“This was a direct request, I was told, from Tom’s people,” Bryan tells us. “This was entirely unprovoked and was done without a request made by me or the network for access to Tom. They simply didn’t want to take any chance that I would end up standing in front of Cruise asking questions.”

And if you know Bryan’s history of coverage, you can imagine why Tom’s people are terrified of him. Back when Tommy Davis was still trying to handle the media for Scientology, he underestimated Seymour and gave him amazing access to Scientology’s facilities and its celebrities. Unguarded, Nancy Cartwright, a Scientology celebrity and voice of Bart Simpson, told Bryan on camera that the reason she follows the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard is so that she can become a god.

Bryan has also done hard-hitting coverage in his home country, exposing the abuse of young Scientologists, for example.

“‘Mission Impossible’ is how I would describe the efforts of countless Australians disconnected from their daughters and sons, siblings and parents still inside Scientology. I can introduce some of these people to Tom so he can hear first-hand the facts of the injustices with which they have been treated. I am certain Senator Nick Xenophon would also like to meet Tom,” Bryan says. “Let’s hope other reporters who are approved to speak with Tom have the wherewithal to ask Cruise some questions he is long overdue to answer. We can handle the truth.”

But hang on, we told Bryan. The Star recently told us that Tom Cruise has left Scientology. If that’s the case, why would Paramount Pictures want to keep you from asking him questions about a church he no longer belongs to?

“Great question. That would be because he has not left. He is, in fact, deeply enmeshed with Scientology and his best friend forever David Miscavige,” Bryan answered. “As you and others have pointed out, Tom Cruise remains devoted to the cult that holds his deepest secrets, gives him medals and awards, fetes his every move and treats him like a god among men. Sadly, it seems he’s not ready to give that up for a life in the real world with his loved ones, including his daughter Suri. That said, I think it is inevitable Tom will leave Scientology – sooner or later he’ll realize the single blend he’s sipping with Dave is really Kool-Aid and, like Paul Haggis, Mike Rinder, Marty Rathbun, Jason Beghe and many others, he’ll reach the point where there just isn’t any compelling reason to stay in.”

Thank you, Bryan. And now, for you reporters unsure what to do when you get your chance to talk to Cruise, instead of asking for the umpteenth time about his awesome stunts, here are a list of questions Bryan Seymour has written up just for us to present to you. Please, feel free to use them!

— What do you say to the female Scientologists forced to have abortions?

— What did you know about Scientology bugging your ex-wife Nicole while you were together?


— Did David Miscavige ever assault you as he has dozens of Scientologists?

— Why did L Ron Hubbard lie about his military record and injuries?

— By not speaking out are you condoning the abuses in Scientology?

— Why did L Ron Hubbard’s third wife go to prison?

— Will you demand Scientology hand over the video and audio recordings of your counseling confessions?

— Narconon has been proven to be medically without value, will you stop supporting it?

— What happened to Shelly Miscavige?

— Why don’t Connor and Isabella speak to their mother?

— How much money have you paid to Scientology?

— Why didn’t you join the Sea Org?

— Why did L. Ron Hubbard write in Dianetics that homosexuals are mentally ill perverts?

— Apart from Nazanin Boniadi, how many women has Scientology tried to set you up with?

— The top executives who have left say they’re ashamed of Scientology and its practices, why aren’t you?

— Which flowers were used to build the field that you and Nicole ran through at Hemet, California?


— Can you estimate how much free labor you have used from Scientologists? $10million? $20million?

— Many families here have been ‘disconnected’ from their loved ones, can you explain why?

— Should Suri join Scientology? Why?

— If Scientology provides no Public Benefit, why don’t they pay any tax?

— Do you still speak with Tommy Davis and Jessica Feshbach?

Thank you for those questions, Bryan. Hey, Oprah, how about asking a few?


AlexandraHotelOrgBoston Strong, Scientology excuses weak

Boston Globe reporter Daniel Adams has a great follow-up on a piece he wrote in December about Scientology’s real estate problems in Beantown. And now, they’ve gotten even worse.

Scientologists in Boston, as in other cities, were pressured by church leader David Miscavige to replace their “org” with a new facility called an “Ideal Org.” They then raised enough money to purchase an historic hotel, the Alexandra. But then, like in many other places such as Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, Toronto, Philadelphia, and Kansas City, the locals were unable to raise the millions more to do the renovations necessary to open the new facility (which Adams says could run as high as $17 million). So the hotel sat and rotted.

The Boston church members were so committed to the deal, they had even given up their old “org,” expecting to be able to move into the Alexandra. When that didn’t happen, they had to take a dull little office in Quincy in the meantime.

Eventually, the sad truth became too real to ignore — they were never going to have enough money to revive the Alexandra, which would take too much time and cash to resurrect. And, they claimed, it was just too small. (Scientologists believe that when they get an Ideal Org opened, it causes a boom in interest in Scientology, so they need to have at least 50,000 square feet to handle the crush of new people. As if.)

So in December, Adams broke the story that Scientology was putting the Alexandra up for sale and was looking for a new location to turn it into its Ideal Org. But now, seven months later, no sale has happened, even though developers are hungry to snap up the hotel and turn it into a hot new hotel or condo project. So why haven’t the Scientologists sold? Because they want to find a suitable new Ideal Org property, and maybe do a swap with the owner.

Oh my. In the meantime, locals are fed up with the Alexandra rotting while it could be turned into a showpiece.

But that’s Scientology. Always making friends with the neighbors.


Tom Tomorrow, tomorrow!


Tomorrow your proprietor’s book tour takes an interesting detour. We were invited by the good folks who run the Mark Twain House in Hartford to give a talk there in the home where Sam Clemens and his family lived from 1874 to 1891. We’re Twain fans from way back, so the invite really knocked us out. We’re looking forward to the tour of the house we’re going to get tomorrow, and then we’ll be speaking at a hall across the street or something. We’re sure they’ll make it very obvious for people who turn up.

Anyway, since the subject of our book, Paulette Cooper, couldn’t make it to this event, we asked our good friend Dan Perkins, who lives in nearby New Haven, to join us on stage as a moderator. You may not know Dan’s name, but there’s a good chance you know his alter ego: He’s Tom Tomorrow the cartoonist, and he’s been drawing the This Modern World strip for 25 years. In fact, he has a Kickstarter going right now for a project to publish all of his strips in a two-volume book for the 25th anniversary.

We’ll be asking him about that, and he’ll be asking us about The Unbreakable Miss Lovely. Now doesn’t that sound like a good time? We’ll try to do Mark Twain proud. Please come on out and join us!


FlagStorefrontsHey, Clearwater peeps — Open House today!

Alex Hageli (Darth Xander) directed our attention to an announcement that Scientology put out to the locals in Clearwater. Today, they’re holding an open house for the re-opening of the Clearwater Bank building as it extends down Fort Harrison Avenue.

The little Potemkin Village the church has set up on the thoroughfare is really cute. Scientology’s front groups get storefronts! Imagine how lively it will be at The Way to Happiness store! Surely you can get a T-shirt at the Foundation for a Drug-Free World emporium!

We hope a few of our readers can go over there today and get some photos at the Open House. Perhaps Miss Lovely could make the scene?


Miss Lovely in the Daily Mail, and Camden finally gets its due

A couple of interesting links of note today. Chris White, the tabloid reporter we recently lauded for his dedication to doing his homework, has a long piece in the Daily Mail today about Scientology’s media center in the old KCET studios in Los Angeles.

Since it’s the Daily Mail, the piece is a bit overegged (we’re skeptical that any Tom Cruise movies will be filmed there), but there are some nice quotes from Sinar Parman, Gary Morehead, and Mike Rinder, and best of all, Miss Lovely gets a mention!

Also, we’ve tried our best to get the press to recognize that the “Church of Scientology” was first born in Camden, New Jersey in December 1953, not Los Angeles in February 1954. It’s been an uphill battle, but now a local writer has done a very thorough job uncovering Scientology’s early years in the Camden area.


Bonus photos from our tipsters

Scientologist and former X Factor contestant Stacy Francis seemed thrilled to post a photo of herself with anti-vaxxer filmmaker Eric Gladen and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whom we wrote about recently. Keep spreading the woo, Stacy!


Starting them young…


Actual South Coast Mission caption: “Our brand new Golden Age of Tech II Class IV auditor just arrived!!! Alex West is amazing and will take you up the Bridge!!! That makes 11 fully trained GAT II staff at the Mission!”


And here’s a weird one. What were they doing with these raw thetans at Big Blue?


Wow, these new GAT II seminars really pack them in. No, wait, that’s us! Nice packed hall yesterday at Drummond Hall in the old Naval Hospital in DC on Capitol Hill.


“Stop ignoring our phone calls!” (Note: Paul “Chico” Fernandez is a Canadian drummer who owns a music store, and this letter was addressed to his business, not his home. So don’t freak out about that information being included in the photo.)



We didn’t get a chance to include photos in our book, so we’ve posted them at a dedicated page. Reader Sookie put together a complete index and we’re hosting it here on the website. Copies of the paperback version of ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ are on sale at Amazon. The Kindle edition is also available, and shipping instantly.

Our upcoming appearances (and check out the interactive map to our ongoing tour)…

July 14: Hartford, MARK TWAIN HOUSE, 7 pm (with Tom Tomorrow)

July 17: Denver, The Secular Hub, 7 pm (with Chris Shelton)

July 20: Dallas, Times Ten Cellars, 7 pm (with Robert Wilonsky)

July 22: Houston, Fox and Hound, 11470 Westheimer Road, sponsored by Humanists of Houston

July 24: San Antonio, Folc Restaurant/Park Social, 6 pm

July 25: Austin, Cafe Express, 3 pm, Center for Inquiry

July 29: Paris, Le Bistrot Landais, 19:00 (with Jonny Jacobsen)

August 4: London, Conway Hall, (with John Sweeney)

August 24: Boston, Boston Skeptics in the Pub, 7 pm (with Gregg Housh)

Sept 15: Arizona State University

Sept 23: Cleveland

Sept 24: Minneapolis

Sept 27: Portland

Sept 28: Seattle

Sept 29: Vancouver, BC


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 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 mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email