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How Ron Miscavige’s Scientology memoir reads to a former Scientologist


We had our say about Ron Miscavige’s book Tuesday morning at midnight (in London) when it first started to hit your Kindles and other devices.

Now, friend to the Underground Bunker and former Sea Org official Chris Shelton has put together a video with his thoughts on Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me. And you’re getting more than a book review. Chris does a skillful job putting Ron’s book into some historical context, and also looks at its reception in the media and especially the attacks aimed at it by the Church of Scientology.

Give it a listen, and then please tell us your own thoughts about this really important book.




Here are the DOX on the Nevada “Real Water” lawsuit

As we mentioned yesterday, there’s quite a mashup of fun stuff that has come together in the story of a new lawsuit in Nevada. Grecia Echevarria-Hernandez, a Catholic woman living in Las Vegas, filed suit on April 26 against the company that produces Real Alkalized Water. She had started working at the company the year before, but she was forced to watch Scientology videos and was told she would get raises for every Scientology course she completed. She refused to do the Scientology courses, and then was later fired.

“Real Water” preys on the gullible, claiming to have health benefits because it contains more “electrons,” which is like a restaurant saying its hamburgers are better because they contain atoms. The product is the brain child of Scientologist and Tea Party politician Brent Jones, who was elected to Nevada’s legislature in 2014. We’re going to keep an eye on this case, which is already getting a lot of (rather derisive) national attention.

In the meantime, here’s the actual court complaint, for our many readers who are document hounds…

Echevarria v. Real Water, Complaint


When TexasLawyer speaks…

Last night, our Texas legal expert continued to dispense some wisdom about a legal situation that has left so many of us mystified, Monique Rathbun’s decision to fire her attorneys and then later dismiss her three-year lawsuit without a financial settlement. In case you missed these exchanges, we thought you might find them illuminating…

deathtoallpoliticians: This pattern of behavior indicates to me that there is a secret settlement in place. Why do you think such an outcome is impossible?

TexasLawyer: Not impossible. Just implausible in light of all available evidence. It’s also not impossible that the ghost of LRH returned to Earth, gave Marty his eternal blessing, and asked him to immediately fire the legal team and wait several months before getting around to asking to dismiss the lawsuit. Not impossible.

deathtoallpoliticians: My thought is that part of the secret settlement between the parties is the stipulation that (wink, wink) there was no settlement.

TexasLawyer: That would be a stipulation that none of the highly competent attorneys on the church’s side of the case would EVER allow their client to make. I would never expose my ass to being sued on such a ridiculously obvious – and readily provable! – conspiracy to defraud my opposing counsel out of a fee agreement. And beyond the personal liability, I would assume there is a damned good chance my license to practice would be yanked if I allowed my client to do something like that without addressing the matter to the court. I am personally and professionally familiar with several of the attorneys on the church’s side of this case. They are not stupid, unethical, crazy, or willing to risk professional suicide.

Missionary Kid: We look at it as being a case of win/lose, they probably look at the whole thing as, “I’m tired of this shit. I want to move along.” Yes, they probably could have gotten a monetary settlement, but I know of several people who were in marriages that got tired of fighting in the divorce settlement, and just walked away. The emotional toll on a couple, especially one with a new baby or small child, could be extreme, even if they’re winning.

TexasLawyer: Litigation fatigue alone is probably not an adequate explanation for what happened here. Monique didn’t just dismiss the lawsuit, or seek a quick and cheap settlement. She fired her legal team, then waited around another 4+ months to see what the Texas Supreme Court was going to do, THEN finally started taking steps to make the case go away. And all of that happened at a point in the litigation where (1) Scientology was 100% prohibited from doing anything to harass the Rathbuns, (2) the Rathbuns hadn’t had to actively do anything in the lawsuit for almost two years, since the whole thing was stayed while on appeal, leaving only the appellate lawyers to do any real work, and (3) THEY WERE OBJECTIVELY WINNING. Apologies for the all-caps, but come on. This was probably not motivated, at least solely, by litigation fatigue.


Cinco de Mayo, one year later

One year ago today, we got a special package in the mail to our underground lair. We captured the moment as we got a look at the first copies of our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely.

Since then, London-based Silvertail Books has sold more than 10,000 copies of this story about journalist Paulette Cooper’s ordeal at the hands of the Church of Scientology. We’re very grateful to our many readers, and we thank you for all of the great messages and photographs we’ve received. What a year it’s been. Pass the tequila.





3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on May 5, 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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