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Do Scientologists consider L. Ron Hubbard God? Part Two of the Aaron Smith-Levin podcast

HubbardThinksJeffrey Augustine continues with part two of his podcast with Aaron Smith-Levin. He sent us this synopsis…

In Part 2, Aaron Smith-Levin continues his fascinating and wide-ranging excursion into the world of Scientology from the eyes of a Sea Org member. Aaron opens by describing how he realized that the highly dysfunctional operating conditions of the six Los Angeles Orgs are a reflection of the same dysfunctional conditions at Int Base.

Aaron then shockingly describes how Flag “handled” the medical emergency that befell a long term Scientologist who was routing into Flag. Aaron and I then segue into a discussion of Flag Land Base and its highly adverse reaction to any Scientologist who originates in session having contacted extraterrestrials. This is a strange part of Scientology because Hubbard taught extensively about alien races and how Earth itself is a dumping ground for aliens. Nevertheless, any Scientologist who discusses extraterrestrials, angels, or demons may not be allowed onto the upper levels. Conversely, Scientologists can only discuss Scientology-brand body thetans as the Church can monetize these metaphysical entities. The “BT restricted” cosmology created by L. Ron Hubbard fundamentally locks Scientologists into a strict Scientology-centric worldview and this becomes a fundamentalist identity. We then compare and contrast the Christianity and Scientology in terms of how their respective adherents insist upon universalizing their subjective experiences.

Aaron offers a fascinating insight into the CMO: The Church only wants young diehard fanatical Scientologists as CMO for leadership. This includes a riveting discussion by Aaron of Scientology’s little known Leadership Test. I then pose the question, “Is L. Ron Hubbard God in Scientology?” Aaron offers the real Scientology answer and speaks to the “religious angle” implicit in Scientology. Aaron describes the power of indoctrination within the Sea Org and how it bulletproofs Sea Org members against any criticism of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, and David Miscavige.

The conversation then shifts to how money works inside the Church of Scientology. Aaron uses ASHO as an example and reveals that ASHO brought in $80,000 to $200,000 per week when he was there in the early to mid-2000’s. The general focus of money in the Church is to send as much money as possible to international management while depriving the Orgs of as much money as possible. Aaron discusses how ASHO spent 81 cents per meal and how this is expressed in the food at PAC Base. Aaron offers an amusing story of “Dessert Night Thursday” and two hundred adults competing for dessert. I then discuss some of the miserable times I had as a teenage religious worker. Aaron next describes the very bad nightmares he had when he left the Sea Org. These nightmares lasted for many years and speak to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition common to people who have left or escaped the Sea Org. Aaron acknowledges the ways in which Chris Shelton’s videos have helped him in his post Sea Org experience.

The conversation turns back to money for some final details.


— Jeffrey Augustine



Robert_WilonskyMonday we’re in Dallas!

Colorado really knocked us out with a big turnout last night in Denver. And now, we’re heading for the Lone Star State. On Monday night, we’ll be at Times Ten Cellars at 7 pm, and appetizers have been ordered to go along with the wine. Even better, helping us with questions will be our old friend Robert Wilonsky of the Dallas Morning News (pictured).

Wilonsky was a legendarily industrious writer who worked in the same company as your proprietor, Village Voice Media, nearly all of it as a writer for the Dallas Observer. He made the jump to the mainstream daily in 2012, and we’re still amazed at all of the things he can do at the same time. Movie reviewing is just one of his many talents, and we enjoyed his assessment of Alex Gibney’s documentary, Going Clear. Wilonsky has a good understanding of Scientology, which he demonstrated with his story about the organization’s footprint in Dallas.

So we figure we’re going to be in for some good questioning. Please come on out and let’s make a fun night of it.


Bonus photos from our tipsters

Black Rob over at WWP found a new gem — New Zealand gets members pumped to give money!


The wisdom of Bob Duggan, everyone, and posted to Grant Cardone’s Facebook page!


There’s an Applied Scholastics convention going on at the Delphi Academy in Milton, Mass…


…And the folks there are so excited, they’re cloning themselves even ahead of OT 9 & 10 being released!



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

July 22: Houston, Fox and Hound, 11470 Westheimer Road, 7 pm, 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 18, 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



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