Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Actress Erika Christensen in unearthed video meant only for her fellow Scientologists


If you thought it was fun to see Laura Prepon utter some strange Scientology lingo in a recent print interview, wait until you see actress Erika Christensen talk about the effectiveness of Scientology in a 2006 testimonials video that was only meant for other Scientologists to see.

“It’s straight out of this universe,” Erika says. “It is! It’s straight out of this universe!”

The “it” she’s talking about are lectures recorded between 1953 and 1962 by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. In 2006, many of those lectures had been repackaged by current Scientology leader David Miscavige, and he had a video put together of church members talking about how much these old lectures had impacted their lives.

Christensen is at the very end of the five and a half minute clip…



Another person you might have recognized in the video is Elena Cardone, wife to Grant Cardone, Scientology’s bumptious hatchet-man.


Elena makes two appearances. In the first, she says, “I have cognitions and realizations, and I can really start to apply these things to my life. It’s made such a huge difference. It’s awesome.”

But her second quote may be the best in the entire video: “This is how we’re going to change the future of the galaxies.”

Now, if you’re new to Scientology watching, you may be asking yourself, how do some old lectures from the Eisenhower years elicit this kind of response? Allow us to elucidate.

Hubbard had started his movement with the 1950 book Dianetics. In 1952, after some failures, Hubbard had reorganized under the name “Scientology,” and gave lectures to willing students. Then, beginning in 1953 and over the next nine years, Hubbard would occasionally hold what he called “Congresses” during which he’d lecture day and night, recording between five and 16 lectures over several days. To this day, Scientology considers these gatherings milestones in the development of Hubbard’s ideas about the human mind. (His son, on the other hand, offered another explanation. In a 1972 manuscript, L. Ron Hubbard Jr. wrote that his father held Congresses whenever he was short of cash.)

Hubbard died in 1986, and in 2005 his successor, David Miscavige, began re-releasing the Congresses in slickly repackaged collections of audio CDs. One of them, the “Clearing Congress” of 1958, even included a lecture that had been recorded on film, lovingly restored to DVD and in full color.

By 2006, enough Scientologists had purchased the new releases (which run about $250 per Congress), that they were ready to talk about how much it had changed their lives.

The five-minute testimonials video was revealed in an interesting way. It was played at a very special gathering in June 2006 aboard Scientology’s private cruise ship, the Freewinds. In June or July every year, Scientology leader David Miscavige holds an annual gathering, known as “Maiden Voyage,” to commemorate the church purchasing the vessel and first sailing it in 1988.

Over a series of nights, Miscavige gives lengthy briefings to a gathering of the most high-level Scientologists to report on their activities and preview new releases. We’ve learned that on opening night during Maiden Voyage 2006, Miscavige showed the testimonials video that featured Christensen.

Christensen grew up in Scientology, and began acting in 1997. Her breakthrough role was as a heroin-addicted teenager in Traffic, the 2000 film directed by Steven Soderbergh. So by the time she appeared in this video in 2006, she was already a well known actress.

She’s known for being somewhat defensive about Scientology. In 2013, she went on a friend’s web series to complain that people thought Scientologists “worship rabbits.” (For the record, no one accuses Scientologists of worshiping rabbits.)

The Congresses released in 2005 and 2006, meanwhile, were the first wave of a massive job of re-editing and re-packaging of L. Ron Hubbard’s works that Miscavige called the Golden Age of Knowledge. In 2007, the lectures were combined with a lot of new republished books in a giant collection Miscavige called “The Basics” and instructed every Scientologist on the planet to order — at $3,000 per set. It was such a naked cash grab (most Scientologists already had previously issued versions of the lectures and books) that it began a massive exodus of members out of the organization that continues today.

If you’re wondering what, specifically, is in those old lectures that has Erika Christensen talking about the universe and Elena Cardone talking about galaxies, the answer is that it could be anything. Hubbard was talking a lot of pedestrian ripped-off eastern thought about the human spirit and the physical universe, but with Scientologists, the subject hardly matters.

We’ll show you what we mean. Just this week, Scientologists received the newest issue of International Scientology News, which came packaged with a DVD. On it was the newest of the testimonial videos, which is now extolling Miscavige’s reworking of the Golden Age of Knowledge, this time dubbed The Golden Age of Tech, Phase II.

Nine years later, it’s the same look, the same frenetic music, the same crazed statements by Scientologists trying their best to sound profound about how they’re now in “present time” and have become themselves for the first time in trillions of years. It’s fun stuff, and we look forward to your comparisons between the two videos, from 2006 and 2015…




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, Grumpy’s Bar & Grill, 2801 Snelling Ave, Roseville, 7 pm, sponsored by Minnesota Atheists

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 14: London, premiere of Louis Theroux film, ‘My Scientology Movie’

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 4, 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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email