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Scientology in hot water again for cutting down trees without permission

What is it with David Miscavige and trees? He seems to be in such a hurry to pave over the world in the name of Scientology, the church leader is in hot water again for cutting down trees without permission.

The Guardian reports that Scientology is applying for consent after it already mowed down 22 trees in order to put in a new parking lot for passenger buses at its UK headquarters, Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, England.

And odds appear to be that they’ll get that permission, even after such a brazen act: The Guardian notes that Miscavige and his sidekick, Tom Cruise, have been softening up local officials with posh parties and gifts.

We won’t be surprised if East Grinstead rolls over and plays nice for Miscavige and his chainsaw crew. After all, we’ve seen it before.


In 2013, Miscavige was in another hurry having decided to finally open the “Super Power” building in Clearwater, Florida after more than 20 years of planning, fundraising, and construction. We had a feeling that the sudden dash to get the place open had to do with the fraud lawsuit filed earlier that year by Luis and Rocio Garcia, part of which accused Miscavige of holding off on finishing the project so that he could raise more donations for it endlessly.

Whatever the reason, after dragging his feet for years, suddenly Miscavige was in an all-fired hurry to prepare the Flag Land Base for the erection of a giant party tent that was being shipped over from England. To make space for it, Miscavige had two mature oaks cut down, which in Florida is kind of a big deal.

To illustrate just what a dastardly move it was, we “interviewed” one of the oak trees that had been cut down. And in light of what just happened in England, we thought it might be appropriate to re-run that interview, now that we have so many new readers who might have missed it the first time around…

Our exclusive interview with a tree cut down by the Church of Scientology


Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Times revealed that the Church of Scientology had cut down two healthy live-oak trees in Clearwater, Florida after the city had denied the church permission to do so. Scientology cut down the oaks in order to make way for a huge tent being erected for its November International Association of Scientologists gala, which is normally held in England. Fortunately, we were able to catch up with one of the two trees before it was hauled away to be turned into cat litter.

THE BUNKER: So this sucks.

FELLED TREE: Tell me about it.

THE BUNKER: We understand that you were standing in a parking lot island south of the Super Power Building.

FELLED TREE: Parking lot island, he calls it. Don’t you live in a hole in the ground?

THE BUNKER: Fair enough. How long had you stood there before you were cut down?

FELLED TREE: I’ve lost count. Bette Orsini was just a sapling when I was already a ten-footer.

THE BUNKER: Apparently the Church of Scientology had relocated large trees in the past at great expense, but they’re doing things rather last-minute for this Super Power Building opening October 6 and the IAS gala November 8. They say they just didn’t have time to uproot you.

FELLED TREE: Yeah, everything’s in a big hurry, just like the Super Power Building itself. It’s only taken 15 years to open the thing. And I’ve watched every day of it. Like, I literally watched the paint dry. That’s not a metaphor.

THE BUNKER: You must have witnessed some interesting things in that time.

FELLED TREE: You think watching OT’s compete for parking spots is some kind of tree nirvana?

THE BUNKER: Well, you’re in Florida, the weather must be interesting. And the other flora and fauna?

FELLED TREE: You really know how to hurt a plant. You know how many living things called me home?

THE BUNKER: That didn’t really occur to us.

FELLED TREE: Well, at least I was cut down for a good cause.

THE BUNKER: You were?

FELLED TREE: Yeah, wouldn’t you like to be sliced in half so some dingbats can put up a tent for a fundraiser? “Clear the planet,” they say. Sure, but they left off the rest of it: Clear the planet, of vegetation.

THE BUNKER: To Serve Man.

FELLED TREE: Hey, I got that.

THE BUNKER: We hear the city fined the church $2,000 for cutting you down. What do you think Clearwater will do with that money?

FELLED TREE: Purchase a backbone?

THE BUNKER: So what will you do now?

FELLED TREE: Well, my last wish is to be pulped and turned into an issue of the Tampa Bay Times with a big, fat expose by Tom Tobin and Joe Childs about how David Miscavige has abdicated the leadership of the Church of Scientology to his male masseur, who is actually an FBI informant who has turned over the copyrights and trademarks of L. Ron Hubbard to a psychiatric hospital. But actually, I think I’m going to be made into cat litter.

THE BUNKER: That really, really sucks.

FELLED TREE: Tell me about it.


We also commemorated those Florida live-oaks with an illustration by Observer, who helped us put together this beautiful tribute to several others harmed by the Church of Scientology who today are enjoying the shade of those stately trees. Can you identify all of them?



Finally, evidence that Scientology “Training Routines” actually work

Well, we’ve been very skeptical for the longest time but we have to admit that finally, solid evidence for Scientology’s effectiveness has been found.

Many have wondered if the long hours and high prices are really worth it. Does Scientology really make you a master of communication? Can it give you the ability to confront any situation with utter calm?

We can now reveal to you proof positive that the long years of Scientology’s heavy commitment is worth every penny…



Chris Shelton on ‘Scientology’



June will be here before you know it


HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25. Go here to start making your plans.

[Thank you, Observer.]


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on January 19, 2017 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.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

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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