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Scientology on trial in Belgium: An update from our man in Europe


With a little more than a week before Belgium puts Scientology on trial, our man in Paris, Jonny Jacobsen, gives us an update about a scouting trip he took to get the lay of the land…

Just back from a brief trip to Brussels to check out the chocolate shops meet some contacts and visit the city’s courthouse.

My host told me that the scaffolding’s been on the outside of the building so long that they had to put up more just to keep the original set in place (I’m still not sure if he was kidding me). Obviously, it doesn’t do any favours to what is a magnificent building, but the interior is truly stunning.

One thing I did get during my visit was official confirmation of the court dates, at least as they are currently scheduled: October 26, 27, 29 and 30; then a pause until it resumes on November 9, 10, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 26, 27. But of course those dates are not set in stone: it could drag on longer; it could collapse on the first day.


Next Wednesday, just ahead of the trial, Belgian television will be broadcasting a special evening’s programming. It’s in the Devoir d’enquête slot (Duty to Investigate) and they are calling it Spécial secte : La face cachée de l’église de Scientologie (Special cults: The hidden face of the church of Scientology).

A guest on the show will be Eric Roux, Scientology’s Paris-based spokesman and, to my knowledge at least, the movement’s most effective representative. If I can find the time — and a way to watch the programme from France — I might try and write up a brief summary, but my priority is to put together a curtain-raiser for before the trial opens. In any case, as well as the court reports over at Byline, I’ll do my best to keep the Bunker updated too.

Now, who wants to take bets on whether I can resist the temptation to post a photo of the Manneken Pils at some point during my coverage?

My best to the Bunker.

— Jonny Jacobsen


Your proprietor Down Under

Wow, we’re just a few days away from heading to Australia for the first time, and we have events set up in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth. Meanwhile, we’ve been getting some coverage down there on radio and television. Here’s a little piece we did with A Current Affair…



David Jolly and Scientology

We’ve noted several times that US Congressman David Jolly has appeared at Scientology events, but Tim Mak of the Daily Beast shows that now that Jolly is running for US Senate, there are some additional disturbing connections between Jolly and the church. Specifically, we find it interesting that Jolly has received donations from David Minkoff, a Scientology doctor who was involved in the treatment of Lisa McPherson before her 1995 death.

Jolly’s people will no doubt say that receiving a few donations from Scientologists and attending a few events held at the Fort Harrison Hotel does not equate to being Scientology’s man in DC, but still, good on Mak for digging out these troubling ties.



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 16, 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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