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Why is the press so timid about outing Scientology’s many front groups?

SciDrugFree2We’re very happy to see a small publication like the Santa Clarita Express in Southern California expose a Scientology front group for what it is. Reporter Melissa Lampert revealed in her Thursday story that the local branch of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office will be offering a class put on by the Foundation for a Drug-Free World for teens in September. We hope that kind of pressure makes the Sheriff’s Office think about whether it really wants to get into bed with Scientology.

But we felt for Lampert as we saw her strain to make the case that there is some kind of connection between Foundation for a Drug-Free World and Scientology…

Called the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, the organization has repeatedly been linked with the drug rehabilitation center Narconon International, which was created based on the beliefs of the Church of Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

Wow, that sounds tenuous, doesn’t it? Some guy named Hubbard who was behind Scientology also created a drug program which has been “linked” to Foundation for a Drug-Free World.

We see reporters get into this problem again and again when just a phone call to someone like Mike Rinder or Marc or Claire Headley or any number of other former important Scientology executives could confirm that Foundation for a Drug-Free World, its “Truth About Drugs” campaign, Narconon, and a dozen other front groups are not just “affiliated” with Scientology but are Scientology, and they don’t do a thing without the approval of Scientology leader David Miscavige.

It’s Miscavige, after all, who stands up at annual events and says outright that these groups are the leading edge of Scientology’s “advancement.” Plenty of clips of him saying that already abound on the web, you don’t have to take our word for it.


And how about a photograph to help make the case? A very telling photo can be found on Scientology’s own website in an article boasting about its new “Scientology Dissemination & Distribution Center,” which opened a few years ago in Los Angeles.

Note that that’s not the “Scientology-Affiliated Dissemination & Distribution Center” or the “Scientology-Related Dissemination & Distribution Center.”

No, it’s the “Scientology Dissemination & Distribution Center.” And take a look at what the center is disseminating, capture in a photo on Scientology’s own website…


And yes, please note their own caption:

The superwide-format printer and banner welder can create banners large enough to span the face of high-rise buildings, for broadscale dissemination of Church-sponsored social betterment campaigns, such as the Truth About Drugs program.

And of course it’s Scientology’s own superduper printing facility that prints up the booklets that get handed out by Foundation for a Drug-Free World. Because Foundation for a Drug-Free World is Scientology.

Meanwhile, Scientology’s own website made it pretty clear who was behind Foundation for a Drug-Free World when it opened up a storefront for the Foundation in its spiritual mecca in Clearwater


Glamorous Meghan Fialkoff in New York and other Foundation members around the world pretend that they’re not working for Scientology as they hand out this stuff by the truckload, doing their best to make the public think L. Ron Hubbard was some kind of anti-drug genius, part of a broader campaign to get people interested in Scientology itself. And only when a disillusioned Scientologist finally leaves do they learn that Hubbard was a drug addict who didn’t understand the first thing about drug rehabilitation.

But go ahead, LA Sheriff’s office, feel good about helping Scientology get its hooks into some teens in your neighborhood.


Steve Hassan at the Steve Allen Theater today

We’ve had some great dates on our book tour, but certainly one of the real highlights was our SRO appearance with Paulette Cooper at the Steve Allen Theater on Hollywood Boulevard on May 17. Jim Underdown at the Center for Inquiry – Los Angeles helped us with that great venue, and the audience was just terrific.

Tonight, Steve Hassan will be appearing at that theater at 8 pm to talk about the new edition of his book, Combating Cult Mind Control. Get a ticket before they’re gone!


Bonus photos from our tipsters

We’re still hoping to get news from Tokyo, where the Ideal Org event just took place…


And some reports from our man on the scene in Japan…

“I cannot confirm David Miscavige, but by all accounts Tom Cruise is most likely not there. Security is way too light if he is…Main event is indoors, Scilons only. There’s an outdoor opening ceremony from 7:30 which we ought to be able to get pictures from.”


From Periscope video, a still showing what appears to be David Miscavige on the video screen. Also notice the tiny crowd which is restricted to the sidewalk — with traffic zooming by.




Another update from our man in Japan…

“Tom Cruise was not in attendance, that much is confirmed. Apparently a member of both the Toshima ward assembly and the Miyagi prefectural assembly were there though. Low level local politicians, but still a bit eyebrow raising.”


Sefi Fischer was there. He’s an IAS lecturer and on staff in Jaffa. With him were Jaquie Salmon and Alex Chudnovsky (not pictured here). They flew in from Melbourne…


Miscavige at the festivities…




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.

Tony Ortega’s upcoming appearances (and check out the interactive map to our ongoing tour)…

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, Razzi’s Pizzeria, 7 pm, with Seattle Skeptics and Seattle Atheists

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

Oct 23: Sydney, Giant Dwarf Theatre (with Sen. Nick Xenophon)

Oct 25: Melbourne

Oct 28: Adelaide (with Sen. Nick Xenophon)

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), London (8/4)


Posted by Tony Ortega on August 8, 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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