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Home, sweet ‘Freewinds’! We get a rare look inside a Scientology promotional seminar

SciFreewinds1For several years, we’ve posted fliers from Scientology’s many events that are put on by barnstorming “OT” ambassadors out to sell something to compliant church members. But it’s not very often that we get a report on what it’s like to attend such a gathering.

A couple of years ago, we were fortunate to hear from a tipster who attended a pretty wild meeting that featured Scientology’s Michael Chan talking about the mindblowing abilities that would come with OT 9 & 10 when they’re released — such as the power to clone yourself just with your mind power!

This time, we heard from a different tipster who had told us that there would be a unique opportunity to attend a meeting put on by Scientology’s barnstorming Freewinds salesmen. Why was it unique? Because the event was being held at a non-Scientology venue, which is pretty unusual. Here’s the flier our correspondent sent to us before the event occurred…



It was Chuck Beatty who pointed out to us a couple of years ago how odd it was that Scientology sent out its own promoters to pitch weeklong seminars on the Freewinds for things like a prosperity seminar. The Freewinds was purchased to be Scientology’s private cruise ship in 1988 so it could then be the only place in the world where church members could attain Operating Thetan Level Eight (OT 8), the highest step on Scientology’s vaunted “Bridge to Total Freedom.” But Beatty and others have pointed out to us that it’s a sign of how Scientology is struggling that the organization has to deal with the dearth of people going to the ship for OT 8 by selling a lot of other reasons to spend time on the Freewinds.

And so teams of speakers go around the country, delivering these pitches about the various experiences that are awaiting Scientologists on board the boat. Normally, such sales meetings are held on Scientology properties, and we don’t get a look inside them. But for some reason, this appearance by Bob Anderson was happening in the Trianon Theatre in San Jose, which is a public theater space.

So our tipster decided to attend, and sent us this report. Our correspondent snapped this photo and told us that attendance for the meeting was pretty sparse. We also noted that the organizers brought with them a bust of L. Ron Hubbard, seen on stage on a pedestal, as well as some banners and such.


“There were three speakers for the event: Emanuel Mottl, Gavin Potter, and Bob Anderson,” our person on the scene tells us. “Emanuel started off the evening by establishing two-way communication, which manifested as everyone chanting or shouting phrases back at him whenever he said certain things. Every few minutes he would hold up a photo of the Freewinds and encouraged the audience to shout, ‘home’ when he did. The theme of the evening is that the Freewinds is the home for all Scientologists, it is a genuine theta environment where we can thrive and make progress up the Bridge.”

We couldn’t help thinking of John Oliver’s recent expose of “prosperity gospel” preachers as our tipster told us what happened next: “The Workshop aspect of the evening, facilitated mostly by Gavin Potter, focused on a law of attraction formula reminiscent of The Secret. Here are a few of the phrases, he repeated, several times in a row so everyone could write down, which shows a bit of the style:

— “If you validate illusion, it will take on concrete form. The chair I’m sitting in was an idea, an illusion before it was validated and created as a thing.”

— “If you validate difficulty, it becomes real. It keeps coming up.”

— “The validation of difficulty will always result in the accomplishment of difficulty. And conversely we must remember: The validation of ability will always result in the accomplishment of ability.”

— “Those things which are scarce are those thing in which the individual has lost faith in creating, in having. If we have scarcity we have lost faith in creating it.”

Then the audience was told that many problems can be solved by applying Hubbard’s “org board” ideas to yourself individually.

“The idea came up that the primary reason we lose faith in creating and validating the things we want is that most Scientologists don’t apply the Org Board to their lives. We think of the Org Board as a big chart used for church organization, but in reality it is supposed to be how we organize every aspect of our lives. And the good news is that for a discounted price $1,485 (including the airfare), we can attend a special ‘Havingness and Prosperity Convention’ on the Freewinds.

“Emanuel explained that they discounted the price because people were letting a year or more go by before they went back to the Freewinds, and the thinking is if the price is lower, they can speed people up the bridge quicker and get everyone in the higher levels. The majority of the evening was then the pitch to get everyone committed to go for this Freewinds event.”

Our tipster also made sure we got copies of the literature handed out at the end of this pitch. We thought you’d like to see it. Take a look at this promotional flier for the seminar, and then the questionnaire they handed out. Isn’t this fun? Scientology is ideal for people who love filling out forms.




Thank you to our tipster!



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)…

Sept 15: Phoenix, Barrett the Honors College, Arizona State University, ASU in Downtown Phoenix campus, Walter Cronkite Theater, 5:30 pm

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

Sept 24: Minneapolis, sponsored by Minnesota Atheists — venue TBD

Sept 27: Portland, Friendly House, 1737 NW 26th Ave, 12:45 pm, sponsored by Humanists of 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, venue secured (announcement coming later)

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), Boston (8/24)


Posted by Tony Ortega on August 31, 2015 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com 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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