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The Church of Scientology’s forgotten president: Karen de la Carriere on Heber Jentzsch

Heber_JentzschWe’ll never forget when we got the message from Karen de la Carriere in July 2012. She had found out — through the help of Aaron Smith-Levin, we now have learned — that her son, Alexander Jentzsch, had suddenly died at 27.

Alex was not only Karen’s son, but also the son of Heber Jentzsch, who is still the nominal president of the Church of Scientology International (pictured, right).

The son of the president of Scientology, and he fell ill and died without anything being said to his mother, who had the means to help get him proper care. Instead, it turned out, Alex got bad advice and took a medicine for pain that made it harder for him to breathe at the same time that he was suffering from pneumonia. That combination killed a man who was young enough that he shouldn’t have died if he’d been properly looked after.

In a series of videos, Karen is talking about her life with Heber, who was forced to divorce her by Scientology leader David Miscavige. Karen is now happily married to Jeffrey Augustine, but she still has affection for Heber, and spoke up about his bad treatment. She complained that Heber was being held in the “Hole,” which prevented him from being a father to his son Alex. For complaining loudly, Karen was kicked out of Scientology.

Here’s part 2 of her series, which is new and debuting here at the Bunker…



And if you missed part one, give it a view as well…



Chris Shelton on Scientology’s “cult mindset”

Former Sea Org worker Chris Shelton has a new video out this morning. Here’s his description: “Scientology is a destructive cult, but how do its members fall for it and why? This is the first part of a critical analysis of the most key policy in all of Scientology, titled Keeping Scientology Working, and how this policy creates a cult mindset.”



We’ll always have Paris


Our thanks to Jonny Jacobsen, who set up our latest great event on our book tour. We were really surprised by some of the fascinating folks who stopped by, including Jeff “Nono la patate” Drea (pictured) and Martin Ottmann. Jens Tingleff, meanwhile, did a great job transcribing what was going on for readers here at the Bunker.

We drank and talked and closed down Le Bistrot Landais, and we wish you could have been there to be in on the discussions. It was amazing stuff!

Jonny Jacobsen has been a superb host, and he gave us this message about last night’s event…

This is just a quick message to say thank you to all of you who turned out to Tony’s book-reading last night in Paris. Anyone who knows France knows that it was always going to be a bit of gamble organising an event at the end of July, but it was nice to see a full room. There were some familiar faces, including activists with Paris Anonymous, some former members, and plenty of Bunker regulars. There were one or two other interesting arrivals too, about which I’ll say no more for now.

One thing that former members in France do not have is the kind of support network that the exes in English-speaking countries enjoy, though it’s good to see the arrival of one or two new faces in the forums. So I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage ex-members new and old from France — or based in France — to reach out to each other and try to build something similar. And speaking as a journalist, I am still interested in knowing more about how Scientology’s operations in France — now and in the past. When you’re ready to talk to me, get in touch. (Sorry for any typos: it was a long night!)

— Jonny Jacobsen

Juste un petit mot pour remercier tous ceux qui ont assisté à notre soirée avec Tony à Paris hier. C’était toujours un pari risqué d’organiser un événement de cette nature en plein été, mais on a quand même rempli la salle. Il y avait quelques anciens amis, dont des veterans d’Anonymous de Paris et des anciens scientologues dont quelques habitués du bunker. Et il y avait aussi quelques autres arrivées intéressantes, dont je n’en dirai pas plus, à moins pour l’instant.

Une chose qui manque pour les anciens membres de la scientologie en France, c’est le réseau de soutien dont les anciens dans les pays anglophones peuvent profiter, bient que j’ai été encouragé de voir quelques nouveaux dans les forums. J’aimerais prendre cette opportunité donc pour vous encourager, les anciens, de tisser les liens entre vous, d’essayer justement, de construire ce genre système de soutien — pour vous et pour ceux qui vont surement vous suivre. Et de mon point de vue, en tant que journaliste, je serais toujours interesssé à savoir davantage sur les opérations de la scientologie en France — maintenant et dans le passé. Quand vous êtes prêts à m’en parler, faites-moi signent. (Avec mes excuses pour des éventuelles fautes de français: ça a été une longue nuit!)

OK, on to London, and we’ll do our best to keep an eye on what’s going on back at home. (That National Enquirer cover about Lisa Marie Presley helping Tom Cruise leave Scientology is just too much.)


Soon going Ideal — Harlem

After years of construction, Scientology is planning to open its Harlem Ideal Org on September 19 — but it’s running into some concern from the local pols, apparently. Even dnaInfo, which has been pretty friendly to the project, expressed some concern about the event the Scientologists want to throw.

Of course, we know the score. They’ll shut down the street just long enough for David Miscavige to say a few forgettable words about how Harlem is the vanguard of culture, yadda, yadda, yadda. But will he have his soul duds on?



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)…

August 4: London, Conway Hall, 19:30, (with John Sweeney)

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

Sept 15: Barrett the Honors College, Arizona State University, ASU in Downtown Phoenix campus

Sept 23: Cleveland, Parma Heights Library, 7pm sponsored by Center for Inquiry – Northeast Ohio

Sept 24: Minneapolis

Sept 27: Portland

Sept 28: Seattle

Sept 29: Vancouver, BC, Seven Dining Lounge, 7 pm

Oct 23: Sydney

Oct 26: Melbourne

Oct 28: Adelaide

Oct 30: Perth

Past dates: Santa Barbara (5/16), Hollywood (5/17), Orange County (5/17), San Diego (5/20), San Francisco (5/22), New York (6/11), Chicago (6/20), Toronto (6/22), Clearwater (6/28), Washington DC (7/12), Hartford (7/14), Denver (7/17), Dallas (7/20), Houston (7/22), San Antonio (7/24), Austin (7/25), Paris (7/29)


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 30, 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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