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L. Ron Hubbard’s regressive homophobia: Can Scientology’s celebrities handle the truth?

Yesterday, former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder posted a statement about Scientology’s homophobia which not only collected founder L. Ron Hubbard’s statements about homosexuality’s “perversion” but also explained, from his personal experience, how Rinder observed the organization’s baked-in hate for gays and lesbians.

It was a remarkable personal essay and we highly recommend that you read it and bookmark it for whenever Scientology’s attitudes about homosexuality come up in future news stories. We’re thinking of a recent attempt by Scientology celebrity Laura Prepon to claim that the situation was otherwise.

We’ve also written about Scientology’s homophobia. One of the more intriguing stories we got to look into while we were at the Village Voice described the struggles of a man named Keith Relkin. In that 2011 piece, we explained that Relkin, who lived in West Hollywood, had taken on the role as the church’s token gay guy, and tried to convince the press that Scientology was actually gay-friendly. Privately, however, he complained to friends that the church undermined him at every turn, had him spy on other people in the film business, and denied him any chance to move up to the courses offered only in Clearwater, Florida because of his orientation.

Also, we got to know the singular Derek Bloch while we were at the Voice. We were struck by what an intelligent young man he was, and what a good writer. But he’d committed the crime of writing anonymously at a web forum about how he’d failed out of Scientology’s “Sea Org” because he was gay. Scientology’s spy wing then figured out who was behind his anonymous online writing, confronted his parents about it, and they then disconnected from him.


As we explained in those stories, and as Rinder explains in even better detail, L. Ron Hubbard classified homosexuals as “1.1” on his “tone scale” of emotion, which equates to “covert hostility.” Auditing in Scientology is supposed to move you higher on that scale, into better emotional states. So, as a consequence, Scientology is a “cure” for homosexuality as gay members are expected to audit their way out of their covert hostility and into a happier, non-gay state. And since Hubbard died in 1986 and his writings are set in stone (or “source”) to Scientologists, the organization can’t change its outdated ideas about gays and lesbians.

Sunny Pereira reminded us that she experienced a telling example of this thinking. We met her in Dallas during our book tour, but she was already well known to us because of her appearance in the 2010 Tampa Bay Times story, “No Kids Allowed.” Pereira was one of three women — the other two were Claire Headley and Laura DeCrescenzo — who came forward about Scientology forcing young women in the Sea Org to have abortions in order to enforce the Sea Org’s “no children” policy.

Today, Pereira is happily married with children. But she told us that she still had the documents describing why she got kicked out of the Sea Org in 2004: “I kissed a girl,” she said.

The documents she gave us refer only to “Out-2D with a staff member.” That’s Scientology’s jargon for “out-ethics” on the “second dynamic,” which is code for illicit sexual activity (but could be anything from flirting to outright sexual intercourse). On page 2, however, there’s a slip when the document refers to Sunny failing to report the staff member and refers to “her.”


And Pereira isn’t the only one who was kicked out of the Sea Org for a same-sex kiss. Nora Crest has talked about how she also ended up getting punished and ultimately left the Sea Org because she had kissed another woman.

We told Nora that we were going to put together this piece, reacting to Rinder’s post, and asked if she wanted to say something about Scientology’s homophobia.

Well, she did a lot more than that. She quickly put together a video, and we were stunned when we saw it. Brace yourself, because this is one for the ages. We think Nora is incredibly brave for making it, and we’ll let you find out what she reveals in it as she talks about how Scientology demonizes and punishes gay people.

Laura Prepon, we dare you to watch it.




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)…

Oct 23: Sydney, Giant Dwarf Theatre (with Steve Cannane and Bryan Seymour)

Oct 25: Melbourne, The Wheeler Centre, 3 pm, free but reservations recommended (with Steve Cannane)

Oct 28: Adelaide, Wheatsheaf Hotel, (with Sen. Nick Xenophon)

Oct 30: Perth, Collins Street Centre, Collins St and Shaftesbury St, South Perth, 7 pm

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), Phoenix (9/15), Cleveland (9/23), Minneapolis (9/24), Portland (9/27), Seattle (9/28), Vancouver BC (9/29)


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 11, 2015 at 09:45

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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