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It’s a video extravaganza as three former members tell us about life inside Scientology


It’s a video extravaganza today as we received new recordings from three of our regular contributors. What they have in common is that they’re interested in a young person’s journey in Scientology.

Chris Shelton interviews Robyn Capella about what it was like to be pulled into Scientology by her parents when she was just a teenager. Nora Crest dives into part two of her rumination on the bizarre sex rules faced by Scientologists — and she makes a special appeal to Laura Prepon about her involvement in the church. And Aaron Smith-Levin talks about the end of his Scientology career, when he tried to leave amicably, but found that Scientology is best at making enemies.

We’ll start with Nora, who kicked off her video series last time with a look at some of the strange restrictions on sex that Sea Org members have to observe. Now, she follows that up by looking at L. Ron Hubbard’s strange policy bulletin, “Pain and Sex.”

And, noting Scientology’s homophobic history, she puts actress Laura Prepon on the spot regarding her role on Orange is the New Black.



Aaron Smith-Levin has another video for us relating an anecdote from growing up in Scientology. He explains this time about the kind of bargaining he attempted to do when he was faced with leaving the organization not long ago.

Aaron explains that he tried to find a way to leave Scientology that was less disruptive to his life but also less damaging for Scientology. He laid out a plan that he thought would be beneficial to both sides. But Scientology doesn’t think that way, as we’ve seen in so many other cases.

The story Aaron tells today reminds us of the story of Sylvia DeWall. Like Aaron, she tried to reason with a Scientology ethics officer who was presenting her with a situation that could rip apart her family.

“This week’s story shows how far Scientology will go to turn a former member who just wants to get on with his life into an actual enemy. The ‘with us or against us’ mentality is a core principle in Scientology,” Aaron tells us. “Even in instances where it would clearly create less problems for Scientology to simply let a former member be, the church has shown that it is almost completely incapable of doing so. This story is a classic example of how Scientology would rather try and ruin someone’s life and break apart a family than allow a former member to simply part amicably. Scientology’s insistence that someone is either 100 percent on board or 100 percent an enemy should be a huge warning to anyone who might have a family member starting to dabble in Scientology. Eventually, that family member will cross the event horizon where they are no longer allowed to simply walk away.”


And here’s what Chris Shelton sent us about his video…

I’ve been talking about Scientology for almost 2 years now and while there are still many aspects of it for me to cover, I wanted to branch out and start interviewing other people who were involved with Scientology and other destructive cults. Robyn Capella is a former Sea Org member who worked at many levels, including as a management representative and a Director of Special Affairs at a local Scientology org. Rarely do we get behind-the-scenes views on what the day-to-day is like for those who work at OSA’s lower levels, and I was intrigued when Robyn started telling me about her experiences.

Robyn and I were in the Sea Organization in Los Angeles during overlapping times (in the mid-to-late 90s) and I actually met and worked with her when I was in West US management. At the time, she worked in the Los Angeles organization as a management representative (called a Flag Rep). This was shortly before she got pregnant and ended up going up to Mountain View as the Director of Special Affairs. Robyn was always one of the “good guys” and wasn’t into yelling and screaming and tormenting her fellow staff members. At the same time, she was a True Believer and didn’t shirk from following some pretty crazy orders from her seniors.

Robyn was in for 19 years and we have a lot of ground to cover. In this first video, we cover how she got into Scientology and soon after got recruited into the Sea Org and went into their version of boot camp, called the EPF (Estates Project Force).



Bonus photos from our tipsters

The mission in Chelyabinsk, Russia, shows off its many strong dissemination initiatives (actually, they’re just older images from France and Switzerland, but those Russians are ambitious!)…


Oh look — two Scientology front groups joining forces, Applied Scholastics and Youth for Human Rights, and for the benefit of Africa…


Oh, and hey, there’s a new Scientology front group in town — We Rock for Human Rights!


Anyone want to nanny for the Cardones? Got your TRs in?




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 September 3, 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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