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Hey, Legoland: A former Scientology youth explains what your money will buy


On Monday, the Legoland California theme park invited actress Jenna Elfman to preside over its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony and thanked her by donating $10,000 to the charity of her choice. Elfman, a longtime and ardent Scientologist, asked Legoland to donate the money to Youth for Human Rights, a Scientology front group that uses a 1948 United Nations declaration as a way to spread its influence with young people around the world.

Yesterday, when we asked a Legoland representative if they were aware of the group’s connection to Scientology, we got a terse reply that Legoland had chosen its celebrity emcee “without prejudice.” That response kicked up a sharp reaction at our website and on social media. We also received a copy of this message from Derek Bloch, which he sent directly to Legoland’s office. We thought you’d want to see it.

Hi, Legoland.

You recently promised a donation to the Church of Scientology via Youth for Human Rights on behalf of Jenna Elfman.


I want to help you in witnessing the cosmic irony you have created by donating to Scientology in the name of both “youth” and “human rights.”

My parents joined Scientology when I was relatively young. I was pulled out of middle school, and never got to high school because Scientology decided that I should work for them. They threatened my parents to get them to sign over custody of me to a loyal member of the Sea Organization.

I was subjected to 19 hours of work every day starting from age 15. I barely had two meals to eat. I was not paid and I was not given time off. I could count on one hand the number of times I was allowed to see my family during the three years I was there.

The only reason I was thrown out was because they found out that I am gay. I had started developing a relationship with one of my fellow male staffers. There were plenty of heterosexual relationships budding around me. I knew many people who had been allowed to get married. But because I was a boy who happened to love another boy, they threw me out and dropped me on my parents’ doorstep in the most literal sense that you could imagine. The house was locked when I got home because no one expected me. No one from the Church of Scientology had called my parents to let them know their son was coming home.

“Youth” and “human rights” are two things which Scientology took from me. Hopefully you can see now what a slap in the face it is to me, and to the other thousands of victims of Scientology, that you just handed over $10,000 to them. A simple Google search of “Youth for Human Rights” would show you that it is nothing more than a name on a bank account which belongs to Scientology.

You may not be prejudiced, but Scientology is. Scientology takes children out of school and puts them to work. Scientology hates gays. Scientology harasses and threatens anyone who speaks out, denying their freedom of speech. They tear apart families simply because the children or parents disagree with Scientology’s beliefs.

If you don’t believe me, send one of your employees to research it. It’s not hard.

I demand that you withdraw your donation from Scientology, Youth for Human Rights, or whatever you want to call it. It’s a slap in the face to victims like me, and we are legion.

I anxiously await your reply.


Derek Bloch


FHCabanasBabywatch, day fourteen: Lisa McPherson in Room 174

On Saturday, December 2, 1995, caretaker Silvia DeLavega, who had cried the night before when she started her shift and saw the state Lisa McPherson was in, noted that now Lisa was too weak to stand and was lying on the floor, breathing heavily, her eyes fixed in a stare.

Patty Strecener worked a few hours as the day began after midnight. She said in a report that Lisa had woken up and became agitated, slapping Patty several times. Patty pushed Lisa down, holding her arms as Lisa rambled incoherently. Then Lisa threw up.

Panicking, Patty ran to get security, but the officer who came in said the situation wasn’t really unusual. They cleaned up Lisa together.

Caretaker Laura Arrunada also worked that day, and reported that Lisa was less strong, and rolling around on the floor, still talking incoherently, non-stop. Laura reported that Lisa was given “a magnesium shot.”

Lisa also was given more valerian root capsules through the early morning hours to try and get her to sleep, as well as more “Cal-Mag” drink.

“We also cut her fingernails. This will reduce the risk of scratches to herself and to us,” Rita Boykin wrote in the most complete notes from December 2. “She has scratches and abrasions all over her body, and on her elbows and knees she has pressure sores. None of them are open and none of them look infected,” she noted.

Later in the morning, she made a note to talk to Janis Johnson, the senior medical officer, about getting more herbal preparations to make sure Lisa got some “serious sleep.” But she also revealed that the money for the protein shakes had run out.

“I was in comm with a security guard who said the source of the money was Lisa’s employer, and he thought he could get more this morning,” she writes. “I suggested we buy Vita Soy from the canteen and protein powder and yogurt and I will make the shakes. This would make it go farther this time. I have a refrigerator in the housekeeping room next to Lisa’s room.”

Around noon, Rita gave Lisa more valerian root capsules and another herbal table and more Cal-Mag. Two hours later, she notes that Lisa is trying to stand, but can’t because she isn’t strong enough. “I am going to feed her some mashed banana and protein powder. Have been in comm with security about getting more money for her.”

An hour later, a remarkable statement from Boykin. She says that Lisa “knows we are trying to help her, although she doesn’t know our names, and we don’t talk to her.” The rest of Lisa’s talk is the usual incoherent babble.

Lisa did manage to get down a couple of ounces of water in the afternoon, but she was still unable to stand. Rita describes her as “very restful and gentle.”

In the evening, there’s more banana with protein powder and Half & Half, as well as more Cal Mag and orange juice.

And apparently, some money had been found, because Lisa was also given a protein shake.



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.

Our book tour is concluded for now. (But you can re-experience it through this nifty interactive map!) We’ll let you know about future appearances. Previous events: 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), Sydney (10/23), Melbourne (10/25), Adelaide (10/28), Perth (10/30)


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 2, 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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