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‘Are you 100 percent American?’ — ‘Ross & Carrie’ investigate joining Scientology

ONRClogoIn 1968, LIFE magazine published a lengthy investigation of Scientology that had been done in an enterprising way. Writer Alan Levy had decided to find out what Scientology was all about by joining it.

Levy went farther probably than any other journalist has in his pursuit, even though his effort is largely forgotten today. He had taken his first step in Manhattan, but eventually he went to England and reached Grade IV before he ended up at the home of L. Ron Hubbard himself, Saint Hill Manor, and gave up before moving on to Clear.

After Levy, the best example of someone joining Scientology to report on it was our friend Mark Ebner’s hilarious experience that he wrote up for Spy magazine in 1996.

We think of Levy from time to time when, every year, particularly in the fall, student journalists and a few professionals make their trips to the local org to take a personality test as if it had never been done before. Readers know that we generally find these forays superfluous. Inevitably, the writer finds that Scientology is weird based on their hour or two talking to staff members and getting the pitch to pay for courses.

 
RossAndCarrie

 
So, for that reason, we sat down with considerable skepticism as we hit play on the new podcast by Ross Blocher and Carrie Poppy which has been getting a lot of attention this week. “Oh No, Ross and Carrie!” is a podcast in its fifth year, with the duo exploring fringe beliefs and pseudoscience by experiencing it for themselves. As they explain in the episode, they are always asked when they would be taking on Scientology.

Ross is associated with the Center for Inquiry and its Independent Investigations Group in Los Angeles. We go way back with both — we’ve noted numerous times that CFI-LA’s director Jim Underdown is a friend. We wrote about Jim and the IIG in Los Angeles as they debunked a psychic dog way back in like 1999 or something. It was Jim who invited us out to LA for what turned out to be the launch of our book tour last year, and we appeared with Paulette Cooper at the Center for Inquiry’s Steve Allen Theater to a standing-room-only crowd.

CFI is a smart group, and that shows in the podcast. While Ross and Carrie are having fun, they took their Scientology experience seriously and absorbed a lot. Sure, for many of our readers, the things they experienced won’t be new. We are aware of how the personality test works, and the kinds of courses that are pushed on new recruits. But along the way, the couple have some great observations, some of which confirm what a precarious state Scientology is in these days. At one point, Ross says, he was asked by a curious staff member, are you 100 percent American? As opposed to what, he wonders, and the two don’t quite seem to realize what that reflects — that today, most Scientology recruiting happens outside the United States.

And there’s all the pushiness you expect from staff members trying to make their weekly stats. It all feels pretty familiar. But Ross and Carrie hint in this initial episode that they got some considerable way into the Bridge, which we have to admit intrigues us. The two say that they did some auditor training, and Carrie says she went to the New Year’s Eve party, which we’ll hear about in upcoming episodes. We’re looking forward to it. The spirit of Alan Levy lives on, apparently.

Here’s episode one…

 
UPDATE: Great observation by Mike Rinder when he also listened to this podcast…

Remember, this is the MODEL Ideal Org where executives from all other Ideal Orgs are sent to learn “how to do it the right way.” It is staffed with 200 Sea Org Members. And if you listen to the hype from Scientology, they start 700 new people on services every week. It is rocketing. It is epic. Milestone. Unprecedented. Straight up and vertical. And they just about have LA cleared….

And then there is reality: Ross was the ONLY person on the intro course he did. The Supervisor worked with ONLY him. The Supervisor came into the course room for him alone.

 
——————–

3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on February 6, 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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  • Observer

    Props for them letting Jeff lay out the processes and abuses.

  • Jimmy3

    Oh god we need a gif of that cat

    • Observer

      I got it on video

  • salin

    This *has* to go viral – as I don’t think the Travel Channel has great reach. Viral of the video – starting with Jeff’s start in the video – would be very cool. The Occult roots of Hubbard; The Affirmations and more.

  • Jimmy3

    Holy shit that was a bad edit. Jeff they took all of this out of context, right?

    • Jimmy3

      What I mean is when he asked if the ghost of LRH was there, Jeff responded, “It’s very likely”
      but it’s clearly just a portion of a longer response. Maybe not even in response to that particular question.

  • Observer

    He asked about Hubbards spirit, and a cat jumped out of the chimney and scared the crap out of him. This is gold!

    F5

  • nottrue

    Jeff going with them to haunted hub house

  • Bunker Buggy Betsy

    OT

    Let the games begin!

    Why wait until Super Bowl when John Wood is already accusing everyone of inciting religious hatred, or whatever he’s suppose to say to people now.

    This is a keeper response to John’s trolling:

    https://twitter.com/metamorphhh/status/696151767235428352

    • mon elle

      And engage bots as though they were people.

  • jazzlover

    Host keeps saying “Casa de Rosa” as if tacos are about to be served 😉

  • Observer

    The house creeped LRH out, so they have to be careful. They can’t tell if someone they saw is homeless or a ghost. Some expert.

    • jazzlover

      At least we know it’s not a homeless ghost.

      • Observer

        DO WE?!

      • salin

        Wouldn’t a ghost, being present in this realm, be homeless by definition?

        • jazzlover

          Who’s to say “this realm” doesn’t have homes?

    • daisy

      I imagine the house was creeped out by Hubbard

    • mon elle

      So something was able to creep out the guy who participated in sex magick and considered himself the antichrist?

      Must be pretty scary.

      • Observer

        That was Zak’s point as he solemnly warned his crew. This is friggin’ hilarious!

        • salin

          A bit alarmed when briefly pondering who the target audience is for this show – and that it is for that audience it is made to convince as real (who could buy this?!) Outside of that thought, it is ridiculously funny.

  • Jimmy3

    They’re trying to contact Ghost Hubbard with an “SB-7 SPIRIT BOX”
    We’ve come full circle.

    • Must be a new Emeter leak.

      • Jimmy3

        The SB-7 is like the Mark Ultra VIII sans semi-colons. It’s that powerful, bro.

      • salin

        Being prepped for release (with a 3x higher price tag) emeter forGAT3 and GAT4 as we type.

    • aegerprimo

      Losers….

      Just sayin’
      https://youtu.be/xtMppV_JE2g

  • Observer

    calling out LRH with the SB-7 spirit box! It’s really noisy.

    Mr. Observer just said, “Is Hubbard attacking attacking them with a spirit train?”

    • salin

      This is an example of why (as I just posted) I would be turning the channel, if it weren’t for the Hubbard connection. Patently absurd. But Jeff gave some great info in the background for this absurd scene. Worth seeing those moments, and worth being aware of what is now (or soon) out in the social media sphere.

    • mon elle

      So Mr. Observer will watch a ghost hunting show about house that creeped out LRH but not a simple wins video?

      That says something … just not sure what.

  • salin

    The skeptic in me, is in direct conflict with the ‘watch the crazy campiness that somehow ties into Hubbard at least location-wise.’ Really want to turn the channel, but can’t. (Without the Hubbard connection – I would have turned it quite some time ago.)

    • jazzlover

      Hang in there! Misery loves company 😉 It’s fairly obvious that they’re manipulating this to fit the theme of the show, but even the campiness makes SciFi look ridiculous by comparison. That can’t be a bad thing, can it?

      • salin

        True.

    • Frodis73

      I’m watching the debate and I’m much rather be watching this ghost show. Trump…just needs to STFU.

      • salin

        Now that is a fair comparison per the campiness and need for skepticism.

  • MaxSpaceman

    This is scientific inquiry at its finest.

    Without doubt. The University of Geneva couldn’t maintain a higher standard.

    • salin

      lol.

    • mon elle

      So … on par with Dianetics?

  • nottrue

    Cold blast of stinking wind…That had to be him…oh shit he said money…That is him

  • Can’t wait to see the new Ghostbusters movie.

  • Jimmy3

    GHOST HUBBARD WANTS MONEY!!!!! hahhahaha

    • Nah..

    • salin

      Like the power of suggestion on a ouiji board. Duh, Hubbard wants … money.

    • Jimmy3

      I thought this was pure bullshit until this. Now i’m quite certain it’s him

  • Observer

    “All of a sudden a man’s voice comes through and says ‘Money.'”

    • Frodis73

      Seriously or are you kidding? I can’t watch it…if they really did that…LMAO.

      • Observer

        The narrator really says it

        • Frodis73

          I can’t wait to watch it.

          • salin

            There are moments – but most of it is just a blend of camp and cray-cray.

            • Frodis73

              Total fun for folks like us. However, it is seriously scary that there are people out there really into this and take it very seriously.

            • salin

              That has been a recurring reaction for me as I watch this. Yikes.

      • salin

        It is nuts. Campy. And a bit alarming that some viewers may be completely sold on what they are watching.

    • American money?

  • Observer

    The SB-7 spirit box, which is horribly annoying

    F5

  • salin

    omg, we found a doll! It’s a dead soldier and it was thrown at me! Guy is now hysterical.

    • MaxSpaceman

      Yes!

      But it is scientifically proven that Thetans can siimply ‘pop’ into a doll body for whatever thetan reason they want.

      Beware the doll !!! BODY THETANS! YIKES !!!

      • jazzlover

        Don’t worry! GI Joe to the rescue.

        • salin

          Who will be featured on ‘Coast to Coast’ broadcast tonight.

      • salin

        Maybe the ‘thetan in the mirror’ threw it.

  • Observer

    This guy had this thrown at him. He’s practically hysterical.

    F5

    • MaxSpaceman

      a Thetan in a Doll body !! YIKES !!!!

    • Is that Shelly

    • Sherbet

      I wanted to throw something at him, myself. The guy is practically rabid.

  • nottrue

    Money HaaHaa

  • Observer

    Now they’re hearing ghost whistling

  • MaxSpaceman

    J. Swift appears !

    To confirm a scientific fact for the Scientists who are forensically examining the former Scientology Laboratory of L. Ron Hubbard.

    In Technicolor.

  • salin

    The doll being thrown wasn’t captured on video… but it was on audio – and we can see where it suddenly appears where it wasn’t visible before… So the show tells us. Salin says: “How Convenient.”

  • jazzlover

    “If you’re in distress – scream”. LOL

    • mon elle

      Call for help!

      • The Scarfolk Council is one of the greatest parodies online. It’s like The Wicker Man meets Edward Heath on ITV.

  • nottrue

    Asked Hub if he did try to birth the anti christ…….this is funny stuff

  • Observer

    “Are these the rooms you used to brainwash people? Are you going to try to brainwash me?”

    One of them is asking that!

    omg, “Can you tell me the name of your leader?”

    • Robert Eckert

      Did he look brainwashed to you?

  • salin

    *Guy walking with a camera asks the room* “Did you try to birth the antichrist”… as he attempts to “trap” the ‘spirit’ in a room. (This is nuts)

  • Jimmy3

    Man, I love you Jeff Augustine. I’ve always been a huge fan of yours, but I can’t believe you were part of this. It is so horrible. I say this with good-spirited laughter, and I do still love you. You’re great. But c’mon. C’mon.

    • GeorgeJ1952

      I take it you have never seen a spirit….or is it just LRH’s ghost that has you saying this ?

      • Sherbet

        No, Essie/Ethel screwed up the whole shoot. Her ghost barged ahead of Ron’s, and he didn’t have a chance.

    • Frodis73

      I hope he shows up to talk about this!

      • Jimmy3

        I think they took a chunk of what he was saying and edited it way out of context. That’s what it seemed like to me at least. I dunno.

    • Sherbet

      Yeah, I’m with you on this, Jimmy.

    • J. Swift

      What am I supposed to do when Tony gets all the good parts?!

      • Jimmy3

        You should get your cat’s agent. He had a great part!

        • J. Swift

          I can’t get a break in this town! Even my cat got a better part than me.

          • Sherbet

            Next time, YOU climb up into the fireplace. That would be epic.

      • Juicer77

        LOL

  • GeorgeJ1952

    VERY COOL, waiting for Miscavige to jump out yelling, “I am the leader!!”

  • Observer

    The neck burn!

    F5

    • Jimmy3

      definitely more strawberry colored.

    • Or bed bug dick slap.

      • salin

        OMG a RASH!

    • Observer

      F5

      • MaxSpaceman

        Proof!

        It was a Thetan Hand move that seared this forensic scientists !

        • Sherbet

          It’s old radiation being run out of his neck.

  • jazzlover

    LRon just put out one of his Kools on the guy’s neck.

  • salin

    Absurd turn that is also one of the promo points of the episode: Rash/burning shows up. The suggestion that this was because he said some negative things about Hubbard, and that he has a pentagram tattoo.

    Riiiight.

    • MaxSpaceman

      Dude- ‘that’- is science !

  • MaxSpaceman

    There’s so much science in this, it’s over the head of anyone viewing it.

    Except for a quantum physicist.

    • salin

      Who studied the field long before it existed.

  • MaxSpaceman

    Dang- sure hope they don’t prove the ‘science’ in Scientology

    as they wrap up the hour.

    Dang!

  • jazzlover

    Jay’s been marked. He’s next.

  • MaxSpaceman

    J. Swift –

    “Walking the Pentagram” !!

  • GeorgeJ1952

    I just happened to turn the Travel Channel on….I am gonna have to wait for this show to come on again in a couple of hours so I can watch it from the beginning

  • Harmless Weirdo

    I don’t have a TV, so I’m “watching” this mess via Bunkerites’ comments.

    I don’t even need to see it to know it’s much better this way.

    • MaxSpaceman

      prolly so hahahahahaha 🙂

    • salin

      Having watched it, I envy you.

  • nottrue

    Do you what to brainwash me………they are asking good questions….are you angry

  • salin

    They are seriously verbally addressing “spirits’ .. and calling to them like a Vice squad: “Step out of the room, Quit Hiding”.

    Okay, my eye rolling ratio has gone up so fast, that I think I have to turn the channel soon, or my eyes are going to roll back into my head.

    • Harmless Weirdo

      Just once on one of those stupid ghosthunter shows I’d love them to order the ghost/spirit to do something, only to be met by a booming voice that rattles the whole building: “Oh yeah? Or you’ll do what?”

      I’d gladly pay for the new underpants they’d need afterward, just to see that.

      • salin

        Hardy Lol.

  • MaxSpaceman

    Oh… “Show yourself! Step outta the room! Quit hididng!”

    So– there must be body thetans and clusters there in the place, hanging out, waiting to find some new meat bodies, get in ’em, and then get back to work (keep loggin them hours for those billion years.)

    Dang body thetans are everwhere.

  • Jimmy3

    Ghost Hubbard chilling on the couch. We see you, bro. You’re not exterior.

    • Sherbet

      “No, you can’t.” “Yes, we can.”

  • Observer

    They’re talking to the yellow blob lower left in the pic. They think they’ve cornered Ron.

    • Supper Powers

      I like the sound of “they’ve corners Ron.”

    • salin

      Thank goodness it’s over. I had to change the channel, but I really didn’t want to miss much.

    • Nat-leficent

      That’s just his cyst!

    • Where is Bill Murray

      • Sherbet

        Who ya gonna call?

    • Observer

      Aww, they figured out it was just a hole in the wall that warmer air was coming through

      F5

      • Harmless Weirdo

        You mean they mistook a gust of hot air for L. Ron Hubbard? How could that possibly happen?!

  • Jimmy3

    and then it just ends with absolutely no conclusion. maybe they needed to continue their research without the hindrance of a meat body.

  • jazzlover

    Show ends without drawing any meaningful conclusion. That doesn’t stop the “experts” from acting as if they did, though. Civilization sighs and casually regresses 200 years in one swell foop. Travel channel permanently blocked from my programming.

    • salin

      This was my one and only foray to the channel. Only bearable because we were live-blogging/discussing it and laughing throughout.

      • jazzlover

        Same here. I hope that this channel is in no way related to Travel & Leisure magazine, which was a staple in my house growing up since my dad did a ton of travel for business.

  • Sherbet

    Well, that was painful.

    • MaxSpaceman

      Pure, unadulterated science often is, Sherb.

      • salin

        Peer review schmear review. This is Science!

      • Sherbet

        Yes, I’m really awestruck with the science-ology.

    • jazzlover

      Look at the bright side – we have SciFi commercials to look forward to laughing at during the Super Bowl tomorrow.

  • Tony Ortega

    Jeff, please tell us that was OTVIIIsgrrr8.

    • salin

      OMG, when you spoke, a doll flew across my tv room and hit me… It wasn’t captured on tape, but it wasn’t there before and then it was… what the Heck does *that* mean?

      • Intergalactic Walrus

        And did the doll have pinkeye? 😉

        • salin

          Is that why I have been rubbing my eyes raw? (joking)

        • Sherbet

          And an ulcer. And was a war hero doll.

      • Sherbet

        I saw it! And what’s more, I heard the doll speak, salin! She said, “My name is Ethel.”

        • salin

          XD

          • Sherbet

            It might have said Essie. Things aren’t too clear in the spirit world.

    • Of course it was.

      • MaxSpaceman

        ^ 1 million ^

    • Sherbet

      Get him on the horn. He’s got some ‘splaining to do.

    • Sherbet

      Psssst…I see Karen upvoted your post.

      • Sherbet

        Karen, please give Felix an extra bowl of Fancy Feast, just for scaring the pants off Zak.

        • J. Swift

          Karen is giving Felix organic barbecued chicken in honor of her Cat Emmy winning performance.

          • Sherbet

            As well she should. Lassie, eat your heart out.

    • J. Swift

      See my reply in newest comments….

  • Thank you Ghost Adventurers for locating Ronaldo.

    • salin

      Nah, he never responded to their SWAT commands: Come out (with your hands up)! Maybe he is still hunched up on a chair (and giving the evil eye to fourthirteen.

      • aegerprimo

        47x

    • Sherbet

      Next episode: Where’s Waldo?

  • Jimmy3

    Obs, we need a gif of that scene where the cat jumps out of the fireplace. That made the entire show.

    • Observer

      I don’t know how 🙁

  • Sherbet

    If lrh died in Creston, why would his ghost trek to LA? Riddle me that, Zak.

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      More “money” back in LA!

    • salin

      He lived so many lives that he has a thetan in each building he spent more than a week in.

      • Sherbet

        Sort of like “George Washington slept here.”

    • Nat-leficent

      Maybe he was exterior when his meatsack keeled XD

      • Sherbet

        That’s it! He knew he left a half-pack of Kools back at the Casa and went to get it.

    • All his expelled BTs were stuck in the walls.

      • Sherbet

        By George, you’ve got it.

    • Ben Franklin

      He ran out of Kool-Aid in Creston

      • Sherbet

        I’m imagining Ron’s blubbery spirit flying over the rooftops to LA, like a Macy’s balloon.

  • Intergalactic Walrus

    Why was this show on the Travel Channel – is Casa de Rosa now available to rent out for vacations? SP parties?

    • jazzlover

      lmao

    • Nat-leficent

      Why is Honey Boo Boo on TLC?

      • Sherbet

        I can’t think of a better candidate to keep traveling, moving, just keep going.

  • Next Episode: Hidden RPF Clusters.

  • Sherbet

    Mr. Sherb went to bed and asked, “Are you sure you’re not going to be scared by this?” I’ve been laughing too hard to be scared.

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      The only ones “scared” by this joke of a program, seem to be the nervous nellies on the show!

      • Sherbet

        Yeah, they go into rooms completely alone…except for the camera guy who’s filming the thing.

        • Intergalactic Walrus

          At the beginning the one guy says (paraphrasing) that after he initially went to the house he was scared and had terrible nightmares. “You know, the kind of nightmare where after you wake up you feel like there is someone in the room with you?” “Oh yeah”, another guy says. I’m thinking WTF? I knew then, this show was going to be cray-cray! LOL

          • Sherbet

            And you weren’t wrong. At all.

            • Observer

              That’s how it always is. I will say Zak is less douchey than he was the last time I saw the show.

            • Sherbet

              I think Aaron needs to see an ophthalmologist. There’s something going on with his eyes.

  • Start at 3:41 or sooner. Joe Bonamassa – Mountain Climbing. Out in March.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeNLLK0JOYk

  • Observer

    Now to see if it works

    https://imgflip.com/gif/yqyaq

    • Out-ethics cat.

      • Juicer77

        Now that’s just redundant. 😉

    • Nat-leficent

      😀

    • Sherbet

      Jeffrey doesn’t move a muscle, but Zak jumps. I like that.

      • mon elle

        Jeff has more experience with the odd and strange.

        • Sherbet

          I like that the cat messed with Zak. He needs some serious messing.

          • jazzlover

            Especially since he seems to have convinced a TV station to pay him for whatever it is he does.

    • Jimmy3

      Yes! Thank you!

      • Jimmy3

        So many questions about this. First: Is that cat 100% American???

        • Sherbet

          Aw, Jimmy, I’ve been searching for the perfect place to slip that meme, but you beat me to it. Well done, my friend. Well done.

          • Jimmy3

            I think I’ve been posting the same joke all day. It was bound to work once.

            • Sherbet

              Quit while you’re ahead.

            • Jimmy3

              When I get there.

            • daisy

              It is my fault , you posted me first. I wasn’t sure if Canadians were North Americans. I left it for someone else. I think it worked all day each and every time.

    • Nat-leficent

      YOU ROCK!

      • Observer

        I couldn’t have done it without you!

        Weird, that’s a truncated version. The one I linked has the cat going back up the chimney.

        • Sherbet

          OH MY GOD! DID YOU SEE THAT! THE CAT WENT BACK UP THE CHIMNEY!

          • Juicer77

            XD

        • Nat-leficent

          You are like Mozart — soon your gifs will surpass the best of them 😀

      • Observer

        Do you use the embed link to get it into the comments?

        • Nat-leficent

          No download it then upload as an image

          • Observer

            Ahhh, that’s the secret!

            • Nat-leficent

              But it was too big so I cut it

            • Nat-leficent

              You can make gif files small enough for disqus by trimming frames, cropping frames, turning them black and white etc.

  • Great show. Cat is at Target 2 now.

  • Sherbet

    Well, this was quite the adventure, and I’m worn out. I haven’t been so excited and on the edge of my seat since Al Capone’s Vault.

    • daisy

      We share a brain albeit it is a 99-1 split, but I thought about Geraldo*s hype earlier.

      • Sherbet

        I think Geraldo is the godfather of this type of hyper-hysterical reporting. Thanks, Geraldo.

        • Nat-leficent

          “reporting”
          *snortle*

          • Sherbet

            I’m really not sure what to call it, Nat.

        • Robert Eckert

          A buddy of mine used to call him Horrendo.

  • Robert Eckert

    So did anyone else watch the Republican debacle?
    https://youtu.be/G9uI_kIP3Ys

    • Sherbet

      Not unless it took place in a haunted hotel.

    • Jimmy3

      i am so fricken thirsty now

    • Heh, so much irony.

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      I’m not exactly sure what the hell I was watching, but I think I’m now voting for a cat named Felix for president! 🙂

    • Frodis73

      Enough of it to want to flee far far away from those folks.
      eta-i just watched a few secs of that clip and..eww!!!!

  • J. Swift

    Ghost Adventures contacted Karen who handed this off to me as a luzly OTVIIIisGrrr8! adventure — and so off I went in search of ghosts and even the Commodore himself. I did the same sort of thing when I attended
    the Church’s 2007 New Year’s Eve event when Miscavige used the animated hand grenade to show how he was going to obliterate psychiatry. I’m just not a guy who will pass up an opportunity to be around cults, ghosts, ufo’s, or anything else that is offbeat. If there is fun, mischief, and offbeat adventures to be had then count me in.

    Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures show found Casa de Rosas compound in Los Angeles. This building is where L. Ron Hubbard had his first Dianetics center in L.A.. Casa de Rosas is a big sprawling dilapidated old building on Hoover & Adams over by USC. I was actually in Hubbard’s office (it has a private bathroom with a shower) and saw what, imo, was Hubbard’s big iron safe.

    The day my part was filmed was very hot in Los Angeles. The building is very stifling and musty inside. There is no fresh air. At sunset the interior goes black and you can’t see anything. The place is creepy. Ghost Adventures wanted some vivid commentary from me and I certainly wasn’t going to disappoint them. I’ve been around plenty of film sets behind the camera. This was one of the few times I’ve been in front of a camera. Aside from the part I filmed, I didn’t see anything else until the show aired.

    About my cat Lost Felix jumping out of the fireplace: Our home is a lovely Los Feliz classic built in 1923. We don’t use the fireplace and so Lost Felix, one of our three cats, sometimes sleeps up on the ledge in there. Lost Felix is a big blue-eyed Norwegian Forest cat. This breed is known as a “weegie” for short. Weegie’s are big cats who can jump up or down long distances with their powerful legs. When I was being interviewed we didn’t realize Lost Felix had fallen asleep in the fireplace. The filming woke her up and she jumped down off the four foot high ledge and freaked out Zak. I’m used to Lost Felix jumping out of the fireplace unannounced but it can startle visitors. Zak told me he has had cats show up unexpectedly in haunted places in the past and this is why he was somewhat startled.

    Ghost-hunting was great fun for both Lost Felix and me.

    http://i1284.photobucket.com/albums/a563/OTVIIIisGrrr8/Casa.de.Rosas_zpszfnn3gsz.jpeg

    • Nat-leficent

      😀

    • daisy

      I think we are all glad you had fun , we did. The bunker people are about the closest you will get to professional skeptics. I especially enjoyed the cat story.

    • J. Swift

      An interior shot from Ghost Adventures website of Casa de Rosas:

      http://i1284.photobucket.com/albums/a563/OTVIIIisGrrr8/Casa.de.Rosas_zpszfnn3gsz.jpeg

      • Supper Powers

        I sure could use a new old wooden desk.

      • salin

        creepy space.

      • daisy

        Is this the org. DDD took pictures of the other day , no too nice.

        • J. Swift

          If we do HowdyCon in LA next year, I will try to arrange a group tour at midnight of this place.

          • Nat-leficent
          • daisy

            GREAT idea, that would be so much fun.

          • jazzlover

            Only if you strategically place glow in the dark copies of the beautiful picture you posted here earlier today around the place 🙂

            • J. Swift

              😉

              I’ll also bring a film crew.

            • jazzlover

              he he. Now THAT could be interesting!

          • HowdyCon LA! Yes!

            • califa007

              Yes! HowdyCon in LA!

          • Jenyfurrrrr

            Are you meaning LA – Louisiana or LA – Los Angeles???

        • Douglas D. Douglas

          I would assume the inside of the Ideal Org of the Valley site looks a bit worse than this…

          • J. Swift

            D3, please don’t give Miscavige any ideas or he’ll buy this place and start raising money for renos!

            • Douglas D. Douglas

              I am shocked that they haven’t decided to make it another of those Scientology historic properties. As far as i can tell, Hubbard was there for no more than a couple of months in late 1950. After that, it was women’s shelter for some 60 years.

            • Draco

              I was wondering why that had not already happened?

      • sizzle8

        And in 1950…

        • J. Swift

          Great catch sizzle8!

          I was in that very room where the Hubbard was in 1950.

          It is worth noting that the Church has not purchased Casa de Rosas as a “heritage site” as it has with so many other places Hubbard lived. Is Casa de Rosas too haunted for David Miscavige? If so, can’t he send in some local OT’s to handle it? That would make for great Church documentary; it would give Scientology Media Productions something to do.

          • Juicer77

            I wonder why? It seems nothing is able to flourish there for very long. Bad location? ETA: I guess in such a large populated area, site turnover is not unusual.

            • Douglas D. Douglas

              Actually, the Sunshine Mission women’s shelter was located in the Casa de Rosas for some sixty years. They were hit by arson twice in the 1980s, suffered earthquake damage, and ran out of money. They closed “temporarily” in 2011, and the building has been steadily deteriorating since. It’s a shame, really, as it is a significant historic building that was providing valuable service to the community.

    • Jimmy3

      If it was just for fun, it really worked. It was very entertaining. Fireplace Cat and Ghost Hubbard will be memes for a long time.

    • Felix is a gorgeous cat, and what keen timing.

      • Juicer77

        That’s how you make an entrance!! XD

    • Robert Eckert
    • SucculentDuck

      Great job, J.Swift! One of the creepiest, most entertaining, GA episodes I’ve seen.

      • J. Swift

        Thx SD!

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      I have driven by this place, and had no idea it was so intimately connected with early Scientology. The picture below is from Google Earth.

      Fun bit of coincidence– see the enormous dome rising behind the dilapidated structure? That is the former Second Church of Christ, Scientist of Los Angeles. When it opened in 1910 it was the largest domed structure west of the Mississippi. Christian Science at that time was pretty much at the height of its numbers and influence. 100+ years later, Christian Science is mainly a holding company with a massive bank account and a few tiny congregations here and there. This building is now a yoga center.

      I cannot help but wonder if LRH ever looked up at the dome in the evenings as he was locking up the Casa de Rosas, imagining the day when his church would be as powerful and wealthy as that one. And, you could say, that wish has come true– Scientology is also little more than a holding company with a massive bank account and a few tiny congregations here and there…

      • J. Swift

        I had those exact same thoughts Douglas.

    • Juicer77

      “Zak told me he has had cats show up unexpectedly in haunted places in the past and this is why he was somewhat startled.”
      Yah, cuz that *never* happens in non-haunted places!
      Come on, Zak, she got you good! XD (f5)

    • aquaclara

      This is a great story, and I especially love Lost Felix making his entrance. J, you always make us laugh around here.

    • grundoon

      In case you are curious about the history of the LA Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation and Casa de Rosas, some comments which I posted here on November 3 and 5, 2013, might be of interest.

    • villagedianne

      Beautiful cat.

    • LillyPond LuLu

      You are a Class Act!

  • Intergalactic Walrus

    Anyone following the DGA awards tonight? Gibney & Haggis are both nominated.

    • daisy

      FXX?

      • Intergalactic Walrus

        I don’t think it’s on live TV, all I could find is live blogging on the internet.

  • A Couple of final notes for today on Prostitution labels.
    Hubbard himself called his 2nd wife Sara Northrup a prostitute.
    This was covered by Tony in his book on Paulette Cooper.
    Furthermore,
    Paulette Cooper Noble had to suffer all her neighbors in Manhattan
    being given leaflets saying she was a part time prostitute. The cult
    also accused Paulette of raping a 2 year old. A 2 year old !!!!!
    Image : Hubbard’s 2nd wife “the prostitute” and Hubbard’s baby with her.
    2nd image Sara the named prostitute that Hubbard called her.

    • FredEX2

      They are the most lowly of the lowest scourge. Despicable.

    • Hubbard seemed terrified of women. From his journals whining about his impotence, to his pitiful affirmations, and his weird obsession with imagined abortions, he was clearly just broken around sex and sexuality. That he would use a sexual term to castigate the mother of one of his children is telling. Always worse than I think.

      • Nat-leficent

        He was a weird creepo.

        • Mockingbird

          Instead of a normal creepo.

          • Nat-leficent

            Yes.

            • Robert Eckert

              He gave creeps a bad name.

      • jazzlover

        I think you’re right, Artoo, and I don’t think it has to do with his sexual identity. It’s gotta be about how he was taught to view it during his upbringing. His views on women and anybody he considered to be sexually deviant just follows from there. That would explain the weird obsession with it during auditing sessions, almost as if he considered sex to be the source of the worst crimes that humanity could possibly commit. It’s classic Psych 101.

        • Damn that Snake Thompson!

          • jazzlover

            LOL

    • Mockingbird

      The allegations of the Scientology cult have no credibility and even less proof. They are just projection, denial , reversals and outright lies. Being insulted by the cult is a kind of compliment.

    • noseinabk

      I would encourage members to word clear the word whore. In the definitions you will find the word Venal. This perfectly describes how David Miscavige is LRONS whore.
      : capable of being bought or obtained for money or other valuable consideration : purchasable; especially : open to corrupt influence and especially bribery :

      • Dave Reams

        After meeting el Ron, writer Gore Vidal described him as “venal” and said that he “exuded malice”.
        (sorry, can’t remember source)

    • Dave Reams

      As I understand it, aboard ship Ron Hubbard’s personal attendants who bathed and dressed him were young teenage girls who were dressed in halter tops and hot pants – highly sexualized attire! I imagine the sec checks inhibited any raised eyebrows among the crew but what about public perception?

      • Juicer77

        IIRC, it was mentioned in the 1960’s program Secret Life of L. Ron Hubbard. There are some women who worked for Hubbard who say he physically assaulted them, but no stories of being overtly sexual with the youngsters. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong, here). From most accounts the Commodores Messengers were another part of his screwed-up attitudes toward women as objects and young girls and women were especially favorite targets of his for control. He was a sick, sick person.

        • Juicer77

          ETA: for newbies, it’s especially interesting that boys were almost never recuited as CMO’s. Miscavige is one of the very few. Not sure what that says about his early aspirations to power, or Hubbard’s eye for another twisted mind.

          • Jimmy3

            He wore the same size of hot pants as all the girls, so he fit right in

            • Juicer77

              He got them second-hand once they’d outgrown them.

        • Dave Reams

          According to people around Ron at Jack Parson’s house and Ron’s illicit lover Barbara Klowden who was around Ron at her apartment – Ron was quite the womanizer who was as unafraid to approach attached women and seduce them as he was to approach Mexico and shell it, approach Oregon and depth charge it.

          Is it not reasonable to assume that Ron continued to spurt streams of fire from his deck gun into any desolate bush covered mound he could spy from the bridge? Or did Mary Sue Whipp him into shape?

          • Robert Eckert

            The deck gun was no longer able to attain sufficient elevation.

            • Dave Reams

              Good point! That’s when Ron must have started submitting to Jack Parson’s ASDICK targeted depth charges.

          • Juicer77

            Well, thank you for that extremely…ahem, colorful metaphor. All I can tell you is what those who knew him have said.

  • Vaquera

    Just because it’s Saturday night….
    http://youtu.be/ai-aLzd5imI

  • Juicer77

    Well, I’m convinced.
    Cats *do* sometimes sleep in fireplaces.

  • Newiga

    The 43rd episode of Chris Shelton’s Critical Q&A is up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60ChUs2V2FQ

    • Ella Raitch

      That’s a lot of questions and answers!

      • Newiga

        Indeed it is! He’s doing an amazing job answering the questions he gets about Scientology.

  • OOkpik

    Fascinating new post up featuring TX lawyer re: Monique’s case but, dammit, I can’t stay awake… ZZzzzz

  • Science Doc

    If the Rathbuns are circling the drain as it appears, I’m not going to stare too closely.

  • F_Randy_Hullabaloo

    I like seeing new people starting to learn about the cult of Scientology and Hubbard’s crazy methods, practices and beliefs and it takes time to understand it. But the factual information about Scientology is now much more easily available via the net, books and DVDs. I’m glad some new voices are coming along to tell their story and it sounds like they have used some interesting methods. I’ll have a listen.

    My guess is that those empty course rooms are being duplicated in most Orgs. Those low statistics keep rolling in and the long-term trends can’t be looking good. No surprise there.

  • aegerprimo

    Ross & Carrie OH NO
    Ross and Carrie Audit Scientology

    Part 1: Going Preclear
    Ross and Carrie stop by “Big Blue”, Scientology’s L.A. Ideal Org. They come for the free personality test, but stay for two additional tests and a sales pitch. Do they sign up for classes? Does Carrie need to fix her relationship before it’s broken? Is Ross 100% American? Find out in the first part of the investigation you’ve all been waiting for.
    http://ohnopodcast.com/investigations/2016/2/1/ross-and-carrie-audit-scientology-part-1-going-preclear

    Part 2: We Stand Tall
    Ross continues taking his Personal Efficiency course, and Carrie visits the semi-exclusive Scientology New Year’s party. Which one of them is accidentally sent into a Sea Org meeting? Who is given a free Church membership? What on Earth is an “upset”? And who the heck is Ross Blocker? The answers are within.
    http://ohnopodcast.com/investigations/2016/2/21/ross-and-carrie-audit-scientology-part-2-we-stand-tall

    Part 3: Create-Create-Create
    It’s the next leg in our bizarre and amazing Scientology journey. Ross moves on to Scientology’s “advanced” personal efficiency course, and finds it anything but efficient. As the only student in the entire class, he gets the chance to ask a lot of good questions, and get a lot of strange answers. Meanwhile, Carrie listens along with you and marks every inefficient teaching with a slide whistle. Plus, we learn that the Scientologists already lied to Ross about one of their teachings. Check it out, and get confused!
    http://ohnopodcast.com/investigations/2016/3/9/k0e9r4o4ww7lnpju3l163q62m56uuj

    Part 4: Dianetics and Volcanoes
    The “fun” continues as Ross and Carrie get certified in Dianetics. The pair spend 22 hours at the Church over a single weekend, learning how experiences are encoded in our cells, what an “engram” is, and how to audit your friends for neither fun, nor profit. Plus, find out the secret menu item for Scientologist vegetarians.
    http://ohnopodcast.com/investigations/2016/3/22/ross-and-carrie-audit-scientology-part-4-dianetics-and-volcanoes

    Part 5: L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition
    Join Ross and Carrie on a visit to the L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition. Let your eyes widen as you hear the various questionable biographical details of the founder’s life, from being the youngest-ever Eagle Scout to performing microbiological studies… by himself. Plus, Carrie tests the e-meter, Ross recounts a previous visit where he was ejected from the building, and we review the official Scientology literature on the controversial practice of “disconnecting” from loved ones who question the Church.
    http://ohnopodcast.com/investigations/2016/4/3/ross-and-carrie-audit-scientology-part-5-l-ron-hubbard-life-exhibition

    Part 6: The Celebrity Center
    We can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday morning than to enjoy a nice brunch at the Scientology Celebrity Center. We can think of few worse ways than to attend a breaking-into-the-industry seminar that starts 40 minutes late and goes for two hours. Find out how Tom Hanks made it big, and learn how to maximize your confront!
    http://ohnopodcast.com/investigations/2016/4/17/ross-and-carrie-audit-scientology-part-6-the-celebrity-center

    Part 7: The Way to Happiness
    We’ve finally got what you’ve been looking for: the meaning of life. Yes, you’ve been thinking to yourself, “How can I be ultimately happy?” Well, the answer is in a 70-page booklet called “The Way to Happiness,” that is IN NO WAY affiliated with the Church of Scientology, other than being written by its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. And the organization which distributes said booklet is IN NO WAY Scientologist, other than being run by members of the Church.
    http://ohnopodcast.com/investigations/2016/5/3/ross-and-carrie-audit-scientology-part-7-the-way-to-happiness

    Part 8: The Purification Rundown Rundown
    Ross prepares for Scientology’s hardcore detoxification program, in which he will sweat out his toxins in a sauna, chug niacin, and drink gross water until he’s free of the harmful effects of… peas? Meanwhile, Carrie digs into the dirt of what actually happens in one’s body during the rundown, and gets a formal invitation to Sunday Service. Then, join our duo as they attend the weekly service and read LRH’s hilariously redundant words of wisdom. And finally, find out how they’re found out. Will Ross and Carrie be kicked out of Scientology? Who knows!
    http://ohnopodcast.com/investigations/2016/5/21/ross-and-carrie-audit-scientology-part-8-the-purification-rundown-rundown

  • Roger Larsson

    What’s the meaning of life?

    To be more than one.

    Individuals create much but pairs with followers create much more.

    At first it was Bill alone and then it developed to Hillary and Bill united.

    To say no to couples is to say no to life.