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Pam Bondi thrills at Scientology’s mecca, Hungarian TV bends over, & other updates

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Once again our tipsters have come through for us. We have several interesting things for you today, and we struggled over how to order them. We’ll be interested to see which of these items you found most disturbing, ominous, or wacky.

Let’s start at the Church of Scientology’s spiritual headquarters, where Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi made an appearance Sunday at Scientology’s most holy site, the Fort Harrison Hotel, and gave a talk about her fight against illegal drugs and human trafficking.

 
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Bondi has a relationship with Scientology going back awhile. Two years ago, we noted that she was having a fundraiser hosted by Scientologists.

Bondi made headlines in June when it was revealed that in 2013 she solicited a $25,000 campaign donation from the Donald J. Trump Foundation and then decided not to bring fraud charges against Trump University in her state. Trump subsequently paid a $2,500 penalty to the IRS and admitted that the donation to Bondi’s campaign from a charitable foundation was improper. Also in June, she tangled with Anderson Cooper over her views on LGBT rights.

But there was plenty of love for the AG at the Fort Harrison, including the awestruck Jim Mathers, one of Scientology’s wealthy donors and a fan favorite here in the Underground Bunker (see photo at the top of the page). Here was Jim’s summation of how things went…

Pam Bondi, Florida State Attorney General, is an amazing and productive individual! Sunday’s event at the Fort Harrison was very well attended and I am so impressed with Pam’s accomplishments in helping eradicate problems with the Drug Problem Awareness and curtailment as well as the incredible work she has done with Human Rights, specifically Human Trafficking! Thank you Pam Bondi!

Sounds like a great time was had by all.

 
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Quack who claims to heal autism gets platform on Hungarian TV

Our story last week about a man in Budapest named Zoltán Tóth turned out to be one of the most read in Underground Bunker history. Tóth’s company, Stabil Point Technologia or SPOT, advocates a disturbing “treatment” of autism that turns out to consist of some of Scientology’s basic processes with an extra dose of cruelty — an undercover investigation by the BBC showed one of Tóth’s colleagues in England being abusive to a young man he believed was autistic, and for high prices.

The BBC didn’t know that this brutal treatment was based on Scientology, but Tóth admitted as much to us in a lengthy Facebook conversation. When we asked him about his credentials for promoting a “cure” for autism (which isn’t “curable”), he told us that he had been a champion breakdancer and was a “magic man.”

Our story got a lot of attention in England, and we have made contact with the BBC about it, which told us they found our conversation with Tóth very interesting.

In Budapest, meanwhile, Tóth went on the attack against the BBC and against Fiona O’Leary, an Irish autistic woman who had helped the BBC with its investigation. And then, on Friday morning, Tóth went on a Hungarian television program that gave him a remarkable amount of time to backpedal and spin, spin, spin. We have the video for you, as well as a summary of Tóth’s statements by our correspondent in Budapest, Peter Bonyai.

 

 
Here’s what Peter told us is going on in the video:

Tóth backpedalled on his healing claims, stating he is not curing the patients, he just supports them so they can cure themselves. He was probably advised by his attorneys to change his wording to avoid quackery and practicing medicine without license charges and accusations. He repeatedly stated that he is not curing/handling/healing patients, he just delivers a “confronting training”.

About the BBC – he said that they knew this was a setup and the 27-year old was not in fact autistic, and they just “played along with it.” Also, they made their own hidden video and audio recording of the BBC attempt and made a lot of photos, too. They will go legal against the BBC.

About Fiona O’Leary – he said that Fiona is being sued by a US corporation for defamation, and he said that he will also sue Fiona for libel and slander. He said that Fiona is just being an effect of her condition and overreacts the whole situation. He stated that Fiona talked to the mother of the autistic child they “cured” and the mother told him that Fiona is sick as she was just attacked no matter what the mother said.

Tóth says he will have a press conference on 9th of October about his results, as “they have know the data of the real cause of autism.”

He called the price for his treatment of 3,500 pounds price “false data.”

When he was asked about his degrees and qualifications, he replied: “I am objective and my qualification is having an interest.”

 
The Hungarian morning show, MOKKA, never asked Tóth about Scientology, or about his breakdancing.

 
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Clark Carr, publisher

One of the casualties of Narconon’s meltdown that occurred from 2012 to 2015 was the apparent dissolution of its umbrella organization, Narconon International, and the casting out of its president, longtime Scientology figure and part-time comic, Clark Carr.

For decades, Scientology’s drug rehab network Narconon had reliably been a moneymaker. But a series of patient deaths and investigations over 2008 to 2012 began to put an unwelcome new focus on the rehabs, resulting in dozens of lawsuits filed against centers across the country, and Narconon International was routinely named as a defendant in them. Then, suddenly, Narconon International’s Hollywood office went kaput, and Clark Carr went missing. He showed up a little while later working out of a Tijuana Narconon clinic, which has to be just about as low as you can go.

But now, Clark has bounced back! He announced on Facebook yesterday that he’s launched a new publishing venture which he calls Galactic Lighthouse Books. So far, he’s offering only one title, under his pen name, CC Nixdorf. (Clark’s real full name is Clark Russell Nixdorf Carr.)

 
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Sadly, Clark’s epic space adventure, “The Last Wolves of Mars,” is not available yet, but he did launch his publishing house with another title…

 
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His first offering, Tomfool Traveler, is a book of travel humor. Here’s the description of himself that “Nixdorf” provides at Amazon: “He has been laughing at himself and helping others chuckle for decades. He has also devoted many years to humanitarian efforts worldwide. This has allowed him the privilege to travel to at least 30 countries, often visiting locales that very few people would want to go. He’s had tons of adventures and learned a lot about the goodness (and otherwise) of people worldwide. Hence, this humorous travelogue. At least, one hopes it is humorous!”

Yeah, traveling around the world to run drug rehab clinics for Scientology. Must have been a barrel of laughs!

 
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Tampa Bay Times on the targeting of Betsy Steg

In April we told you about Betsy Steg, a Clearwater attorney who had become friends with former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder, and who gave him use of her lovely home on the Intracoastal for his 2013 wedding to Christie Collbran.

As a result of that, a man named Robert Covington was instructed by Scientology that he could no longer do upkeep on the house for Steg. Covington was the ex-husband of Denise Covington, twin sister of Scientology’s leader, David Miscavige. Covington’s instructions to distance himself from Steg were one example of the evidence we presented that the Miscavige family itself was being torn apart.

Now, the Tampa Bay Times is reporting that retaliation against Steg has continued, and has resulted in her facing a fine of $46,500 from the city of Clearwater because she offered that Intracoastal home as a weekly rental, which is against the law.

Check out this well-reported story by Tracey McManus and Mark Puente, which illustrates how Scientology is so dogged in its retaliation schemes, and won’t hesitate to involve the city of Clearwater in its revenge schemes.

 
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Bonus items from our tipsters

A reminder that this Friday night the place to be will be under the big tent at Saint Hill. To all of our London correspondents, keep your eyes peeled for Tom Cruise, Bob Duggan, and other Scientology luminaries this week.

 
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Paulette_Cooper‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ audiobook now on sale

Audible.com has released the audiobook version of The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper and you can get the book for free if you’re signing up at Audible for the first time!

Read by the author (that’s us), the book tells the incredible tale of a journalist who was among the first to expose Scientology’s controversies, and nearly paid for it with her life. Go to Audible’s website for more details — [US version] [UK version]

To support the Audible launch, Paulette Cooper joined us for an “Ask Me Anything” session at Reddit on September 29, which covered a lot of topics about the book and about this website.

 
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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on October 4, 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, Kindle, and audiobook versions. 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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