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David Bowie, 1947-2016


“We used to call him Garson The Parson in the Spiders, poor love, when he was into Scientology. But it did cause us one or two problems. I was thinking about having him back in the band and the thing that really clinched it was hearing that he was no longer a Scientologist.”

— David Bowie, in Q Magazine, 1997

The news this morning of David Bowie’s death to cancer has really unmoored us. We are postponing the story we had planned for today until tomorrow. It can wait.


And about that quote from Bowie. We looked into it a bit. Jazz pianist Mike Garson told an interviewer that he got into Scientology in 1970 and then got the chance to play on a Bowie album in 1972, which turned into an ongoing collaboration until the two went their separate ways in 1975. Garson says he left Scientology in 1982, and the two musicians reunited in the 1990s.

We can’t help getting a chuckle from Bowie’s comment. We didn’t know that we could admire him even more than we already did.

The tributes to Bowie in our comments section started early this morning. We hope you keep them going. We’re still reeling at the news.


Bonus photos from our tipsters

More Ghost Town fodder. A recent Saturday in London at 12:30 pm — which should be prime shopping time and best for foot traffic, but the Life Improvement Center on Tottenham Court Road is all caged up. What gives?


So now that Scientology has built its little Potemkin village of storefronts in Clearwater for its “social betterment” groups, what does it do with them? Hey, how about fly down Dr. Bernard Fialkoff, father to the glamorous Meghan Fialkoff, to talk about their infiltration of New York City schools, and gladhand with Freedom Medal winner Mario Chirinos? This planet will be cleared in no time.


Igor is Clear!


Snow White unindicted co-conspirator Arte Maren and whale Jim Mathers saddle up for their latest LRH admin sneak attack, the “Reality Business” or RB Club. Yee-haw. Or, as Jim puts it, “The birth of the RB Club!!! Russian Cowboys!!!”



3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on January 11, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail 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. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated 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 L.A. 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

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | 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 | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | 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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