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Bryan Seymour: Scientology’s sniffer-dog problem is bad timing for Narconon in Australia

[Australian K9 Detection Unit at work]

Two years ago, we told you that Scientology’s drug rehab in Australia was in trouble, and now there’s more evidence of it — the place is being sued for not paying its bills. And TV journalist Bryan Seymour tells us the timing couldn’t be worse for Scientology as it prepares for another push to expand its drug rehab network in that country.

Tom Cowie at The Age revealed yesterday that the Narconon rehab in East Warburton, which calls itself “Get Off Drugs Naturally,” is being sued for non-payment of $158,767.75 (US $120,200) by Australian K9 Detection Unit, which supplied sniffer dogs to the rural facility from 2013 to the middle of last year. The dogs were deployed each day from 6pm to midnight to prevent patients (called “students” in Narconon) from having drugs brought into the center.

Two years ago, we reported that Scientology had failed to convince the people of nearby Warburton to allow the rehab to move into town from its more remote current location, O’Shannassy Lodge, where it has operated since 2001. Local citizens had banded together and with a records request showing how often police were called to the lodge convinced the local council that it would be a bad idea to have that kind of police activity in a more populated area.

Just a couple of months later, our Jonny Jacobsen reported that the same facility had been fined by the state of Victoria’s Consumer Affairs division for making unsubstantiated success claims in its advertising. (Similarly unsubstantiated claims are made by Narconon rehabs in this country, but regulators here never do anything about it.)

And now, there’s more evidence that Narconon in Australia is struggling as it gets hauled into court for not paying for its sniffer dogs.


“This is a bitter blow for Scientology in Australia as Narconon, better known here now as Get Off Drugs Naturally, is trying to expand even as it struggles to pay its bills,” Seymour tells us.

“Firstly this centre in Victoria, near Melbourne, wanted to shift premises but failed to win approval. Then Scientology purchased a site near the semi-rural town of Yarramalong in New South Wales – paying almost $4 million, despite not having any approvals to run a rehab facility on the land. The residents objected to their plans and the local council rejected it. Scientology is gathering itself for another tilt at a major new centre on the site – a campaign which will be hit hard by this week’s revelation that their southern cousins can’t afford to keep dogs, despite the exorbitant amounts they charge people seeking help,” he says, adding that patients at East Warburton pay about $28,000 per stay, but will pay up to $40,000 in Yarramalong if the site there is approved.


Bryan sent us a few additional links about Scientology’s struggles with Narconon in Australia.

— Scientology tries a celebrity offer to win over Central Coast residents

— A rare appearance by Scientology’s Australian ‘Leader’

— Senior Scientologist Nigel Mannock gave 7 News reporter Bryan Seymour the slip this morning… but this afternoon, Bryan caught up with him in the streets of Sydney

— 7 News at 6pm: Reporter Bryan Seymour questions two senior Scientologists outside the Land and Environment Court in Sydney.


Scientologist murdered in Germany

A reader in Germany sent us a head’s up about a sad murder case in Munich where a man has been charged with strangling his sister.

The man, identified only as Robert S. in the local newspaper, strangled his sister Elvira S. on February 2 with the cord from a shopping bag. According to the news report, he claimed to have been treated badly by her for years and admitted to killing her and then regretted it. Investigators reportedly were looking at Robert’s jealousy over his sister’s “lavish lifestyle” as a motive.

Elvira was said to have donated some 900,000 euros to Scientology, but it didn’t appear to be a factor in her death — she was also giving her brother some 900 euros a month.


What a Scientology job sounds like to the outside world


You may have seen this yesterday. It’s a pretty amazing advert on Craigslist for a job running the cafe at the Scientology Ideal Org in Portland.

What makes it especially fun is to see the Ideal Org trying to entice an outsider to work under the conditions that Scientologists consider normal: Work as a “volunteer” but sign a 2.5-year contract, with your pay tied to donations (and probably nonexistent in general).

We also note that an applicant is being asked to increase business for a second-floor cafe in a building which is completely dead. (We just had a report from a reader who went by lately and could find no one on the ground floor at all. Who’s going to go upstairs looking for a cup of coffee in that creepy setup?)

Here’s the ad. Soak in the desperation.

Position for the Cafe Manager at the Church of Scientology in Portland:

We are looking for a creative and ambitious manager to build up the cafe we have on the second floor of our building. Currently we have a large lounge area and a mostly self-serve type cafe. It has all the professional equipment (smoothie makers, espresso machine, etc.) to be a flourishing cafe but no one to fully run it so it doesn’t produce at all close to its potential.

The position would be 9:00-6:00, Mondays-Fridays, largely commission based, and there’s no specific requirements on previous work experience. However, barista experience or having worked in any service based industry would be a huge benefit.

We want someone who’s interested in really creating on the cafe and having fun with it.

Must be 18 or older and not have any felonies or probationary status.

We are a nonprofit organization and our staff is paid from a portion of our weekly donations. Therefore, exact pay will fluctuate but we will also be offering 20% commission on the profit from the cafe items sold. We require all of our staff members to commit to a 2-1/2 year volunteer contract with us as we invest lots of time and training into each person. You would be considered a volunteer staff member of our organization.

The duties will include: cleaning, ordering supplies, stocking, preparing drinks, serving customers and other miscellaneous manual work.

If you’re interested, please submit your resume via e-mail.


Countdown to Denver!


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


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,711 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,814 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,308 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,348 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,060 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 527 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,675 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,815 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,135 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,110 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 466 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,768 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 875 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,277 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,150 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 731 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,236 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,480 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,589 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on April 5, 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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