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Talking with Tiponi Grey, who quit her Scientology job and announced it on YouTube


It was a video that lasted only 14 seconds. Long enough for a woman named Tiponi Grey to make a short statement behind a pair of large sunglasses…

“Hello, world. I am Tiponi Grey Magi. And I am no longer employed with the Church of Scientology. Thank you and have a wonderful Wednesday.”

It’s not unusual for people who work for Scientology to leave. But it is very unusual for them to announce it publicly on YouTube and Facebook.

We reached out to Tiponi, and she agreed to talk to us about what had prompted her to make the video — after she checked us out and got a feel for the Underground Bunker.

Tiponi tells us that she had worked for several months at Scientology’s “Ideal Org” in Inglewood, California, a working-class suburb of Los Angeles with a primarily black and Latino population. Scientology’s facility there was opened on November 5, 2011 in what seemed pretty clearly to be an attempt by Scientology leader David Miscavige to make inroads in the African-American community.

Scientology is overwhelmingly white, and actor Jason Beghe told us that in the early 2000s both he and Isaac Hayes approached Miscavige, telling him that he needed to do something to attract more black participation. New churches in Inglewood and Harlem were part of that new outreach.

But Tiponi tells that the Inglewood org is in trouble.

“The staff there is struggling, they’re not being paid, and they’re struggling to get new people people in,” she tells us.

She says that the staff during the day numbers about 21, and 38 work on the night shift. But they’re serving just “two to eight” students at any given time, she says. “On various days, sometimes there may be no one in class. That happens a lot.”

Tiponi was raised in Los Angeles and spent several years in Las Vegas. She has two sons and a daughter, and she got involved in Scientology, she says, because a former boyfriend had tried it out and told her about it. She first went to the org in July to take Scientology’s “personality test” and then took her first course.

She was offered a job right after that course, and was made a supervisor. “I oversaw basic courses for public,” she says, using the term in Scientology to differentiate public, staff, and Sea Org members of the organization.

But she also had a personal mission in mind, she tells us.

“I just wanted to learn what they know so I could bring it back and teach other people, black people who really need that technology and that help. I really didn’t want to join any religion,” she says. “I have a problem with religion. With any kind of religion.”

If she didn’t like religion, why did she go to work for one? She joined staff, she says, because it was a way to get into the courses without paying for it. So she signed a five-year contract, and then tried to learn as much as she could.

In the beginning steps of Scientology involvement, a person is put through “training routines” that involve staring with concentration, remaining focused through distraction, and learning with the heavy use of dictionaries and clay modeling. Former Scientologists who might have grown disaffected over the expensive and esoteric upper levels of Scientology often tell us that they found the beginning courses useful, even after they left.

“I believe in what L. Ron Hubbard was doing, and the technology, and clearing the planet. But in other ways no, I didn’t like what they were doing,” Tiponi says.

After she had spent some time as a public supervisor, Tiponi says her bosses told her they wanted her to supervise the “Survival Rundown” course, and transferred her to the headquarters complex in Los Angeles on Fountain Avenue, known as PAC Base and more colloquially as “Big Blue.”

In recent years, Miscavige has put a heavy focus on the Survival Rundown, or SRD. It’s a composite course that oldtimers remember as “the Objectives,” and it involves up to hundreds of hours of strange exercises such as touching walls and holding objects. It’s intended to put someone in “present time,” and many former Scientologists tell us it’s a mind-bending (and mind-numbing) experience, as well as a physically exhausting one.

Tiponi said she felt restricted at PAC Base, and that she wasn’t learning what she wanted to. Also, she says it became more obvious to her that Scientology’s real purpose wasn’t what she had expected.

“When you get to a certain status, you learn what the true purpose is. I got to that point and realized it was just a business.”

After growing frustrated at PAC Base, she objected and went back to Inglewood. But even there, she says, she was spending too much time wrestling with bureaucracy and not learning what she wanted to know.

She typed up a message complaining that Scientology was too focused on fundraising and sent it to key people at the org, announcing that she was resigning.

“It’s too much about money. You can’t call yourself a church and that’s your main purpose,” she says.

Tiponi says she said nothing negative about L. Ron Hubbard or the people who worked at the Inglewood org, but it was very obvious after she sent her message and then posted her video that she is now considered an enemy of the church.

Still interested in Scientology’s materials, she tried to purchase a Hubbard recorded lecture, but was told she wasn’t welcome. She says the prices at the Inglewood facility are too high anyway.

“If, as in any religion, the purpose is to clear the planet, then you need to give something. And in that neighborhood there, you shouldn’t be charging those kinds of prices,” she says.

When she was on staff, one of her duties was to try and “recover” Scientologists who had left the organization. She was expected to write hundreds of letters — 700 each week. But the people they were trying to reach in the Inglewood area just weren’t interested, or didn’t have the money.

“The idea of putting that church there is a good one. But they have to look at what they’re doing. They need to get new people in to pay for staff, whose job it is to get new people in. It’s a cycle that doesn’t work, because the people who live there can’t afford those prices,” she says.

Tiponi says she’s now looking at a couple of different avenues, and hopes to start a business. She may, she says, teach something like Scientology’s study technology on her own.

We asked her if she expected to get some pushback from Scientology if she did that. But so far, she says, she hasn’t been harassed.

We sent an email to Scientology’s international spokeswoman, Karin Pouw, asking for a church statement about Tiponi’s resignation. If we hear back from her, we’ll add it to this story.

Here is the short video that Tiponi posted…



3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on October 28, 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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  • aegerprimo

    Tiponi – GOOD FOR YOU for quitting your job working for the Church of Scientology.

    I’m an ex-Scientologist and was in the Sea Org. I can understand how you can think there is some validity to L. Ron Hubbard’s “tech”. Girl, you need to do some reading and research! Take your time. It takes some time to understand, and accept that Hubbard was not the man the Church of Scientology makes him out to be. He was not a scientist, or a naval hero, or an engineer, or a prolific writer, or a world traveler with an amazing understanding of people. He did no research. He did not use the scientific method.

    I could say so much more, but today’s article is about you. You seem to be a person who cares about your community and the world. These are such wonderful qualities!

    I hope you have been reading the comments here today. So many people have left you good advice. My advice is not different than any that has been left here today.

    I recommend you read. Start out with these books….
    Messiah or Madman – by Ben Corydon
    Bare-Faced Messiah – by Russell Miller
    A Piece of Blue Sky – by Jon Atack

    Operation Clambake website is packed with info –

    Watch some YouTube videos…
    I recommend you start with ANY by Chris Shelton and Tory Magoo.

    Chris Shelton

    Tory Magoo 44

    • iampissed

      Tiponi To add on to aegerprimos excellent post, Read Read Read.
      Don’t look for a leader, Become the leader you and the world needs
      and wants !

    • Paul V. Tupointeau

      Well, I guess we have to give him the “prolific” bit,
      The story goes that while the proverbial infinite monkeys were busy trying to write Shakespeare, most of the few dozen that accidentally pounded out some Hubbard immediately quit and went back to butt-sniffing and louse-picking and considered these activities to be more respectable, while others hung themselves with their typewriter ribbons out of shame. ;-))

      • aegerprimo

        I am familiar with the Infinite Monkey Theorem

        “… an unlimited number of monkeys, given typewriters and sufficient time, will eventually produce a particular text, such as Hamlet or even the complete works of Shakespeare…”

        • $cnmonkeyrob$

          I’ll have my Hamlet draft ready in x years…(where x>=1 aeon!);)

          • aegerprimo

            You are so cute and nuts. ♥

    • Phoebequeen

      Well said.

    • everchangingmeezer (wogsy)

      Great advice, AP. I have a feeling Tiponi will be just fine.

  • Panopea Abrupta

    Phil and OTVIIIisGrrr8 got me going just downthread.
    Gather round for the real skinny.

    Unknown $cientology History – A Tidbit
    the origins of the Money Drill

    It was the 13th of March – a spring day.
    And it was the Commodore’s birthday.
    Mary Sue had a surprise party prepared for later.
    And a gift – a beautiful silk ascot from, ironically, Liberty of London.
    They were docked in Corfu and the Mediterranean glistened in the bright morning light.

    Suddenly Laffy tripped on a coil of rope and fell overboard.
    Despite his optimally rotund shape, he sank quickly.
    Gasping and spluttering, he emerged again, panicked and groping for something to grasp, to hang to.
    He went down again, despairing, floundering.
    Mary Sue thought quickly.
    She would go down to save her man, she thought, prophetically.
    She flung a fistful of hundred dollar bills into the Ionian.
    Laffy emerged for the last time.
    He immediately saw and grasped the bills.
    Instantly, he was calmed, floated, stopped threshing around.
    Mary Sue lowered a rope to which she had attached a diamond bracelet.
    He grabbed on to it with all his strength.
    Several able-bodied disciples hauled his dripping wet 100 kilos on board.
    All witnesses were RPFed.
    Omar Garrison never heard of the incident.

    In commemoration of this august March miracle, $cientologists the world over have a
    practice in which they fling money into the air.
    If Laffy was really all that and a bag of crisps, none of it would ever fall to the ground again.
    It prepares them for flinging it all away permanently.
    Now you know.
    Any other explanation ain’t worth thruppence.
    (Touches the side of the nose, hops on the 47 bus to Elephant and Castle and Clapham Junction)

  • Jimmy3

    This was our unofficial official Tribe song in 1997, the last time they were in the Series. Maybe it will bring back some of the magic without any of the suck.

    • flyonthewall

      they lost that series. Maybe the song is the problem?

      • Chee Chalker

        Keep playing it….

        • Missionary Kid

          Go Cubbies. I won’t be too unhappy if the tribe wins, but I’m rooting for the cubs.

          • aegerprimo

            Oh jeez… from music to sports I’m outa here.
            Love ya!

          • aegerprimo

            I ALWAYS want the underdog to win.

        • iampissed

          Live in LA…worked for LA….yes the Dodgers..wishing your team the best.

        • flyonthewall

          we have a friend who is a crazy cubs fan, always going on about it on FB. It’s personal for her though, dad use to take her to games. Maybe you know her? Her name is Maria

          • Chee Chalker

            I’ve just met a girl named Maria….

            • flyonthewall

              small world

      • iampissed
      • Jimmy3

        Dammit fly. What do you recommend

    • aegerprimo


    • Rasha

      (a truly wonderful song. Rasha like.)

  • aegerprimo
  • FredEX2

    A little O/T…but it’s Friday! That means there’s a new Regraded Being at Mike Rinder’s blog.

  • dungeon master

    Tiponi, good luck to you! If THDNE (The Hole Does Not Exist), or any of the exes that were harrassed by the church, was here she/they probably would advise you to keep detailed notes of weird things that happen around you (date/time/what/who/where), because your former church, friends and co-workers may try to discredit you. Hopefully not, but an ounce of prevention.. There are a lot of wonderful resources and exes and indies who are there if you want to look.

    Just got home from work and I don’t know if someone already posted this link (tl;dr yet), but this is the 1st of 4 interviews/podcasts Surviving Scientology Radio did with former Inspector General Jesse Prince.

    • “because your former church, friends and co-workers may try to discredit you” – Yep! 🙂 those are not harmless people! and they only try to help you for your own good!

  • Zeruel (Sebastian)
  • Zeruel (Sebastian)
    • Juicer77

      Wow!! Amazing.

  • Rasha


    • chukicita

      Where do you think you’re going, girl? /Gaga

      • Rasha

        So. Freakin’. Busy. #ChineseSteamedRolls #PresentWrapping #HalloweenCostumeMaking #CatchingUpOnAnime #OhShiny #CheckBunker #BaileysIrishCreme #TosiesByFireplace #Hashtags….

        • chukicita

          You lost me at Bailey’s.

          • Rasha

            Fair enough. Here *pours*… ACK!!

            *races downstairs as first batch of steamed rolls is done*

        • Juicer77

          If I volunteer to be your assistant, will you pay me in steamed rolls and Baileys?

  • Phoebequeen

    Just saw story on Raw Story , about Leah Rimini’s new A&E series about scientology. November 29th at 10pm. Not sure if anyone posted it below yet. I have not scrolled.

    • FredEX2

      Yes it was posted. 👹

  • Zeruel (Sebastian)

    Less than five minutes until #2020.

    • That bleach-peddling bastard ‘bishop’ needs to be exposed.

      • Juicer77

        An “archbishop” who curses at reporters and scuttles into buildings to avoid being questioned. Sounds awfully familiar!

  • beauty for ashes

    just looked at this photo which was one of many taken of crazy skies before the hurricane. Pretty sure if we had some OTees here it was Hubbards fat face telling us to get out of our tin houses. I also see Kelsey Grammar. Soo. I dunno anyone else see anything?

    • everchangingmeezer (wogsy)

      I see a bunch of body thetans.

    • Rasha
    • Jimmy3

      My favorite is the novel-accurate Tyrion Lannister

      • beauty for ashes

        I’m afraid you’ll have to elaborate, or i’ll just assume that in the novel, tyrion resembled one of the more animal looking muppets.

        • Jimmy3

          In the Battle of the Blackwater, he’s attacked like he is in the show, but it was much worse. His face was gashed in half and his entire nose cut off. On the show it looks like a cute scar, but hes a monster in the books.

          • beauty for ashes

            Oh I see. That would be hard to look at. Also so much time in makeup. I suspect some sacrifices were made. Being devil’s advocate, it is a wonderful face to ruin though.

    • Juicer77
      • beauty for ashes .. the ..back..paws….. die ing!
        upside down cat sheet cake!
        saving this as “juicer’s flat cat”

  • FredEX2

    In case it wasn’t mentioned already, I just saw that tonight’s 20/20 program is about a ‘fringe church’ called ‘Genesis II’ promoting a ‘cure’ for autism…and the US authorities are investigating their claim. Don’t know if it might mention that guy ‘Zoltan’…but the whole thing seems like quackery and sounds nauseatingly familiar to Tony’s report a few weeks ago on a scam ‘cure’ by…IMHO a truly abusive creepy scam artist ‘Zoltan’ ~see here;

    ~ just a heads-up if y’all are interested in watching. I set the tv to record it.

    • Robert Eckert

      Sebastian, who used to post here frequently, popped in recently to explain that he’s been away fighting the Genesis II scamsters.

  • madame duran
  • EnthralledObserver

    OMG – YES!

    I just found out!

  • Dave Reams

    Despite the questionable source of this report and beneath its lurid headlines, perhaps there is some truth that one of Miscavige’s nieces is in trouble with the law ?

  • OOkpik

    Kittteh learns the hard way.
    Not all good things fit in small packages.

    • ha’s owned by the box!

    • LongtimeLurker

      That cat needs to stop skipping ‘ass day’.

      • OOkpik


        • LongtimeLurker

          I’m told that people who visit gymnasiums frequently will devote each day to a given body part.

          Leg day, arm day, chest day, etc.

          And given that the cat got stuck at the point where his posterior begins, and also how big and fluffy it looked, I hypothesised that he might not have been ‘working out’ his feline gluteus maximi enough.

          • OOkpik

            Haha! Silly owl!
            I learn something new every day. Obviously I’ve never been to a gym. 🙂
            Like so many other things, I learned it first here at the Bunker.
            Thanks, Lurker.

            • Kestrel

              Who needs a gym when you’re a raptor?

            • LongtimeLurker

              Yeah, raptors unite!

            • LongtimeLurker

              Owl not silly, owl awesome.

              Psst. Nor have I. I just read a lot.

    • Juicer77

      So funny!

    • LongtimeLurker


      So graceful and sophisticated.

  • Juicer77

    What the Co$ thinks is “cute” creeps everybody else the h*ll out…

    • omg! from a class IV Auditor with Oa tes powerz
      ETA: what? your wife Megs or your wife begs?

      • Juicer77

        Nothing says “I love you” like pressuring your spouse to come on course, and having to put it in writing to up your stats for the week! Awwwwww…..

      • Juicer77

        Looks like “Megs” to me.

    • LongtimeLurker

      I don’t find the letter itself that creepy.

      But being married to a Class IV who (as you point out below) needs her stats up…

      …that’d stop me sleeping.

      (I wonder how r/scientology got their hands on it)

    • madame duran

      She knows every inch of his body too…

  • Dave Reams

    Ah Halloween! The only day of the year C.O.B. looks completely normal in society. I wonder if he shares his candy with the other little boys and girls? We do know that people knocking at his Daddy’s house get tricked out of their treats.

    • LongtimeLurker

      I’m tempted to dress up as Sea Org one year, carrying an E-meter and asking people if they want a free personality test.

      But 99% of the population wouldn’t know what the hell I was talking about.

      The rest would think it was hysterical, tho’.

      • Dave Reams

        I did a similar thing during a protest offering “free personalities” to the Clams

        • LongtimeLurker


      • Missionary Kid

        That’s a REAL horror.

  • LongtimeLurker
    • Missionary Kid

      That’s an old post, because that’s a post puller he’s setting up to take it out. 😉

      • LongtimeLurker

        The new post is just out of frame.


      • Robert Eckert

        Lurker is pulling out the old post, you see?

  • shasha40

    Ms. Grey , I Love your style !!! TICK , TOCK , tiny member , your defectors are announcing their resignation in public !!! Go ahead , let’s see the foot-bullet lulz you give us with your reaction to this !!! What??? *crickets* I believe he learned that from Karin Pouw . Silence !!! Bwahahahahahaha !!!

  • John Prince

    Gee, I wonder why this breaking news wasn’t announced on SMP?

  • Funny how Miscavige thinks he can make the “white whale cult business model” work in predominantly black, not exactly the most affluent of places, South Central Los Angeles. I guess the income loss for operating a place in a black neighborhood is being able to spin their False PR-Propaganda machine and make it look as if it cares one iota about black people. This is just a PR move. And that’s why the prices reflect the fact that only the most wealthy will be allowed to proceed.

    • Greenegirl

      Inglewood isn’t in South Central Los Angeles.

      • close enough anyway, if you’ve been there on a Friday night …

        • Greenegirl

          No it isn’t. But continue to enjoy your ignorance.