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Scientology disconnection: A toxic policy that punishes innocent people every day of the week

[Brian Sheen and his daughter Spring, before disconnection]

We heard unexpectedly from Brian Sheen yesterday, who told us why today was a grim anniversary for him.

Recently, we added a feature here at the Underground Bunker. Near the bottom of each post, we’re keeping a running tally of how long some of the people we’ve written about here have been separated from their loved ones because of the Church of Scientology’s policy of “disconnection.” One of those is Brian Sheen, who as of today has not seen his daughter Spring in 876 days.

But Brian’s message reminded us that for people who have been affected by disconnection, there are many other reminders about their missing family members that come up again and again. Today, he says, is two years since he last received a phone call from Spring. It was the same day he had been informed by the church that he had been declared a “suppressive person” — Scientology’s version of the death penalty — even though he had been away from the church without any kind of difficulty for many years. (See our lengthy story about Brian’s history in Scientology and how he was separated from his daughter.) After he was declared, anyone associated with the church would have to cut off all contact with him if they wanted to remain in good standing. And that same day, he received a call from his daughter, telling him that she was disconnecting from him.

Brian thanked us for keeping a focus on disconnection, and we asked him for his thoughts on this unhappy anniversary.

“This has been a deeply emotional and mental challenge. Having my heart broken with my daughter’s forced disconnection has had me experience powerful forces trying to keep her safe and maintain the integrity of my family. Working with government agencies to protect my constitutional rights has been an education, and it’s been very disappointing. Discovering the atrocities that the Church of Scientology and many other ‘religions’ get away with while hiding behind the First Amendment has turned me into an activist for constitutional rights. It’s something I never imagined at this stage of my life, but I accept with faith that it will help bring good,” he says.

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“It’s been disheartening to wake up to the fraud that Scientology was built on and explore the many books and discussions of all the harm they have done over the past 40 years. But it’s been empowering too. I feel empowered to share with my daughter the facts I have learned so she could make an informed decision about whether she wanted to be involved or not, and not have this emotional blackmail, intimidation, and extortion determine the outcome. I still have faith that sooner or later my efforts to reach her will succeed and we will look back and laugh at all the insanity that this cult wrought upon us, as well as the many other families harmed by the church and all their celebrities and major donors who clearly demonstrate the disassociated and deranged influences of going ‘OT’ and having your ability to question authority removed.”

Brian has certainly not taken the church’s treatment lying down. We’ll post the two remarkable videos he’s made in protest of disconnection, if you haven’t seen them before.

 

 
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Kuba Ka as Freddie Mercury — the God of Pop keeps dreaming big

Oh my, it’s funny to see our old Village Voice friend Michael Musto get this scoop.

You remember when we interviewed Jakub Stepniak, a/k/a Kuba Ka the God of Pop, that after his quick rise and fall as Scientology’s new celebrity experiment, he was going to be acting the lead in a film based on a best-selling book. Kuba and his family asked us not to reveal just yet what that role would be.

But over at Out magazine, Musto has lifted the curtain to reveal that, in fact, Kuba’s “empire” has optioned the rights to Lesley-Ann Jones’ book An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury, and Kuba intends to play Mercury himself.

As Musto points out, an option doesn’t mean that a film is going to be made, and what he didn’t point out is that there’s already a major motion picture about the Queen frontman being made with Rami Malek as Mercury, and that project is being guided by his former bandmates.

But Kuba can dream.

 

 
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Aaron Smith-Levin on Scientology and aging

Says Aaron: “I discuss how Scientology feels it’s more ‘pro-survival’ for old people simply to die when they start to become a burden to the organization or when they begin taking up the time and money of Scientologists that could be going to the Church.”

 

 
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Chris Shelton on Scientology TV

Says Chris: “Tony has reported on the upcoming opening of Scientology Media Productions this summer and what this could mean for Scientology membership and PR. In this video, I talk about this news, give some comments and predictions about it and get with Jon Streeter, an ex-Mormon, to talk about Mormon TV and how that has gone for them to give some ideas on where Scientology’s “TV channel” may end up in the not-too-distant future. I think you’ll find this pretty interesting stuff.”

 

 
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Joy Villa says ‘Bring cash!’

 


 
Maybe this will take the sting out of getting kicked out of the Trump-worshiping part of Reddit recently.

 
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Scientologists in Ireland barely outpace Satanists

Thanks to blogger Michael Nugent for posting results from the Irish 2016 census, which for the first time revealed the tally of all religions, even the minor ones. Take a look for yourself how the Scientologists placed in a country of 4.7 million people…

 

 
Our first reaction is that Pete Griffiths and John McGhee are going to be royally pissed off when they learn that as many as 87 people in the entire country of Ireland still identify themselves as Scientologists after all the work they’ve done to chase the snakes, er, clams out of Ireland.

Secondly, this falls entirely in line with what we’ve been saying for years. Scientology claims to have millions of active members around the world. The reality is closer to about 20,000 and falling. And so you’d expect around 87 in Ireland if that were the case.

 
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Countdown to Denver!

 

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

 
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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,712 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,815 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,309 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,349 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,061 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 587 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,676 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,816 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,136 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,111 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 467 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,769 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 876 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,278 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,151 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 732 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,237 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,481 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,590 days.

 
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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on April 6, 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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