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Mile High and climbing: Chris Shelton helps us tell the tale of Scientology and ‘Miss Lovely’

UnbreakableCoverBy Chris Shelton

When Tony Ortega announced his extended tour and that he was coming to Denver, I immediately wanted to do something to secure a location for him and make this a success. Having read The Unbreakable Miss Lovely, I knew this was a work that needed to get as wide a coverage as possible.

The Secular Hub is a group I belong to here in Denver, a sort of umbrella group for local atheists, skeptics, humanists and similar organizations that seek freedom from religion, enforcement of the separation of church and state, and who do volunteer work around town. They had hosted my talk about Scientology and were more than happy to host and promote Tony’s.

We had a very nice attendance, probably around 70 people total. We did the presentation interview style where I asked Tony questions first, and then he took them from the audience. There was one point during the talk where a young woman spoke up who was quite emotional when Tony was talking about Scientology’s toxic disconnection policies. She talked about her family, who are in a Scientology school, and her parents who were still actively involved and how she did not know what to do. Other audience members were soon also in tears and Tony handled it beautifully. After the talk, she hooked up with some other exes in the audience and now will have some assistance in the future.

Everyone’s feedback following the event was very positive. There was even a question about whether there were plans to make the book into a movie, and I kept hearing afterwards what a good idea that was and what an amazing movie it would be. I couldn’t agree more.



Thanks very much, Chris. We were really amazed at the group that came out to see us at our book event or at a weekend gathering. Sara Goldberg from Going Clear and her son Nick Lister. Lori Hodgson. Marc and Claire Headley and Marc’s father Bernie. Sylvia and Tim DeWall. Cindy and Matt Plahuta. Bruce Hines. Our old friend Alan Prendergast from the Westword, and Bunker regulars like Kim O’Brien and Laurie “Chocolate Velvet” Harness.

Also in the crowd at the Secular Hub was Freedom magazine writer Dan Luzadder, who’s a local, and he came up after our talk and asked us a few questions. We don’t know if he’s working on a story about us. He seemed more interested in talking about Larry Wright’s book Going Clear.

Dan’s questions were one highlight of a swell few days for us in Denver. And now, we’re on to Dallas!

— Tony Ortega


Hey, Kirstie — why can’t you reunite the Lugli family?


Renata Lugli posted this photo yesterday to her Facebook account. It shows her son Flavio with Kirstie Alley, who was a close family friend to the Luglis in the past.

If you remember, we told you that Claudio and Renata Lugli were once tailors to David Miscavige, his wife Shelly, and other top Scientology officials. The Italian couple still lives in Brescia, where this photograph was taken in their shop. Alley became tight with the Luglis and their good-looking sons, Tiziano and his older brother Flavio.

Today, however, Claudio and Renata have left the church. Tiziano has also left, and he now lives in Los Angeles. But Flavio is still a member of Scientology’s “Sea Organization,” and by church policy he’s been forced to “disconnect” from the rest of his family.

We got to know the Luglis, and learned how much they miss Flavio, and hate Scientology’s disconnection policy. They told us about how Kirstie became such a good family friend, and flirted with both of their sons, and seemed to have genuine affection especially for Flavio. Renata also posted this photo of Kirstie and Tiziano, for example, which was taken in Kirstie’s home in Maine…


Years later, Tiziano has gone on to make videos criticizing Scientology for the ways it rips apart families.

And we have to wonder. Kirstie, how do you defend an organization that would keep a mother from seeing her son simply because she no longer belongs to it? Isn’t there something you can do to reunite this family that you once, clearly, cared so much about?

Kirstie, why don’t you help Flavio call his mother?


Bonus photos from our tipsters

In Russia, Scientology audits you!


Scientology in Denver rocks!


Hey, girl. Let’s detox in Denver!


Woohoo, a new Dianetics center in the Santo André area on the south side of São Paulo, Brazil.


Photographer Craig Guignon was hired for a photo shoot with Kaye Champagne that communicates, “Welcome to Flag.” He asks, “Did we nail it?”


Last night Chill EB rocked the house in Mexico City!


Staff members in Los Angeles. Just think of all the horror stories they’ll be telling us in upcoming years.


Hey, you have to hand it to these Scientologists in Levice, Slovakia, who found a unique way to get people to take the OCA personality test — hang out with them at the pool!



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 19, 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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