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How a recanted John Travolta gay sex allegation led to a bizarre Michael Jackson scoop

[Jackson, Barresi, and Travolta]

Lately, your proprietor has been putting some of his older, non-Scientology stories on pages here at the website after readers expressed an interest in seeing them. And we were reminded of that project yesterday when a particular photo was posted in the comments section, making us think of our old acquaintance Paul Barresi.

There is a Scientology angle to our meeting with Barresi, and so we thought we’d tell that tale here on the regular blog, as well as bring back into print a piece we wrote with Barresi’s help. We hope you find it entertaining.

So, it’s the year 2002 and your proprietor is venturing into Tory Christman’s Burbank backyard. The year before, we had told Tory’s story for New Times Los Angeles, a feisty weekly paper where we’d been working since 1999. Two other writers at that paper were also contributing pieces about Scientology: Ron Russell, who did an amazing piece in 2001 about Raul Lopez, a brain-damaged young man who was being bled dry by the church (with investments in ostrich eggs, of all things), and Mark Ebner, who in 1999 had written a brilliant examination of the life and death of Philip Gale, a young Scientologist who had jumped out of a building at MIT to his death on L. Ron Hubbard’s birthday in 1998.

New Times LA went out of business in 2002, but you can still find our Tory Christman story at Operation Clambake, Ron Russell’s story is posted at Scribd, and Ebner’s story on Philip Gale was reprinted by Gawker in 2008.

So anyway, early in 2002 or thereabouts, with the demise of our newspaper still several months off, Christman invited some of her friends in the Scientology watching community to her backyard for a swell soirรฉe, and we were happy to see that Ebner was there. He in turn introduced us to Barresi, who Ebner had brought to the party, knowing that the crowd there would be pretty intrigued to meet him.

Paul Barresi! Sure, if you were a Scientology researcher, you knew the name. In 1990, he’d been featured on the cover of the National Enquirer claiming to have had a two-year sexual affair with actor John Travolta from about 1983 to 1985. Barresi was a good-looking Italian-American resident of the San Fernando Valley who did what that place is so well known for — porn. He’d acted in numerous blue films — straight and gay — and directed them, as well. He told the Enquirer that one day Travolta had followed him into the shower at a health club, and it had turned into a two year relationship.

 

[The issue that became so hard to find.]

 
“They later had sex dozens of times, Barresi said. The star, he said, often showed up at his apartment for bedroom calisthenics, implored Barresi to tell him dirty stories over the phone, and told the porn actor he was sexier and more macho than Burt Reynolds and Clark Gable combined,” Ebner and New Times managing editor Jack Cheevers wrote in a stunning 2001 story about Barresi’s work as a shady “bag man” for celebrity attorney Marty Singer. And they explained that “Several months later Barresi retracted his [Enquirer] story, saying in a letter to Travoltaโ€™s attorney that heโ€™d never engaged in homosexual activity with Travolta.”

We can still remember Cheevers telling us how the Enquirer, after Barresi recanted, tried to destroy every copy of that 1990 issue, and it became very difficult to locate a copy.

Anyway, it was fun to meet Barresi and talk with him and Ebner at Christman’s house. Tory even gave us a little award, a small trophy, for our work writing about Scientology. (We still have it.)

And then, at some point, we heard Barresi say the kind of thing that makes journalists drool. He was in mid-conversation, and we heard him say, “The Washington Post wants to do the story, but they’re too afraid to go through with it,” he said.

Um, say what?

Barresi explained that he had a huge scoop, but reporting it would require some corroboration that would make most newspapers squeamish. At the time, singer Michael Jackson had been struggling to put out a tribute single in response to the 9/11 attacks, hoping to recapture the success he’d had with 1985’s “We Are the World.” But the project had stalled because, Barresi said, Jackson had turned it over to his best friend, a man named Marc Schaffel. Schaffel was an amateur and way in over his head, Barresi explained. And that’s because his only real experience in show business was under a different name — Marc Frederics, gay porn director.

Um, say what?

Now, you’ll remember that in 1993, Jackson had been accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy, a situation that Jackson took care of with a $15 million out of court settlement in 1994. That same year, he married Scientologist Lisa Marie Presley, and tried to convince the world that he actually liked women. Scientology couldn’t believe its luck and tried hard to get Jackson away from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, with apparently little success. Jackson and Lisa Marie split up two years later. (Lisa Marie was represented in the divorce by Scientologist and attorney John P. Coale, who is married to MSNBC host Greta Van Susteren, also a longtime member.) In 2002, there was still a lot of public debate about Jackson’s predilections.

And now, Barresi was telling us that Jackson’s best friend was secretly a well known figure in gay porn, and was particularly known for his ability to attract young new talent into the industry.

The problem, he explained to us, was proving without a doubt that Marc Schaffel, who was having so much trouble producing Jackson’s charity record, was definitely also Marc Frederics, gay porn guy, and that’s why the Washington Post had gotten cold feet. Barresi told us that he had some raw footage from one of Fredrics’ video shoots, when the director actually appeared briefly on screen, giving his actors directions. He offered it to us, and then we knew exactly what to do.

A little frenetic reporting later and we had prepared our big scoop, sending it to our editor in the middle of June or so. And there it sat, on his desk, for weeks. Well, that happens in the newspaper business. He had other things to print. But then, while we were actually on the other side of the globe on vacation, we got word that the Los Angeles Times had got a small piece of our story as Jackson and Sony got into a fight over his royalties. Yikes!

It wasn’t so easy to get a story rewritten and updated from a country like Indonesia back in those days, but we managed to do it, and the New Times rushed our story into print, and we have it for you here. At the end of the original story, we’ll provide a few updates.

 

[Michael Jackson and Marc Schaffel in the studio]

THE JACKSON JIVE
Michael Jackson vowed to raise $50 million for 9/11 victims. After the deal for his charity record imploded, he accused Sony of racism without mentioning that he’d hired a gay porn producer pal to handle the botched project.

New Times Los Angeles
By Tony Ortega
July 18, 2002

Last September 17, singer Michael Jackson announced his plans for a $50 million charity record that would benefit the victims of terrorist attacks on America.

The single, “What More Can I Give?,” would be modeled on Jackson’s hugely successful 1985 charity hit, “We Are the World,” which has raised $65 million for African hunger relief. As before, Jackson would be calling on many stars in the recording industry to contribute to the song. USA Today reported that the “hymnlike piano ballad” would feature such stars as Destiny’s Child, the Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync, Britney Spears, and Carlos Santana. “We are working around the clock,” the record’s executive producer, Marc Schaffel, told the newspaper. By October, the list of artists had grown to include Ricky Martin, Julio Iglesias, Tom Petty and Luther Vandross. On October 26, Jackson’s publicists announced that the final tracks, contributed by ‘N Sync, had been completed, and the record’s release was imminent. Nearly a year later, after accounts emerged that Schaffel, new to the music world, was in over his head producing the project, the song and a planned video have never surfaced.

Jackson’s publicist at Epic Records didn’t return phone calls about the project. And several people owed money are steamed as they wait in vain for word from Jackson’s attorneys. Over the past few months, Jackson has entered into a feud with his record company, Sony Music Entertainment, blaming it a couple of weeks ago for blocking the release of “What More Can I Give?” and calling its chairman, Tommy Mattola, a racist. But while Jackson stood in New York with the Reverend Al Sharpton to lay the blame on Sony for that and for allegedly ruining sales of his comeback album, Invincible, he didn’t let on that his choice of pal Schaffel to handle the project apparently had much to do with its failing to work out. The bottom line is what several people brought in to work on the project have long suspected: It’s unlikely there will be a Michael Jackson charity single whose sales will benefit the victims of September 11.

 

———–

 
The videotape shows two muscled-up nude men, one standing with his left hand on his hip, the other kneeling in front of him, fellating him. They appear to be in a barn. If the two men weren’t there playing grab-ass, you might expect to see livestock milling about.

Suddenly, an overweight man in a bright-yellow shirt enters the frame from the right, shouting instructions. He has thinning hair and a prominent mustache. He is flustered and impatient, and appears to be the film’s director. In a combination of English and hand gestures, he tries to make the standing man understand that while he’s getting a blowjob he should put his hand anywhere — on the wall next to him, on the rafter above him, on the back of the other fellow’s head — anywhere but on his hip. While yellow-shirt man is delivering these instructions, someone offscreen is shouting out a translation in Hungarian for the two naked actors, who grunt and nod. The mustachioed director then turns to the kneeling man and tells him that he can be a lot more demonstrative while he’s sucking dick, and he begins bobbing his head to show the kind of action he’s looking for.

The director then steals back offscreen, and his two Hungarian hunks go back to what they were doing. The tape runs out a few minutes later, after two more brief scenes of filmic fucking.

After viewing a copy of the video supplied by New Times, Joe Becker, a Washington, D.C., man whose production company, ThinkFilm, shoots scenes for The West Wing as well as other television, documentary, and music projects, says there’s no doubt the man in the yellow shirt is the same man he met last October on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

For Becker, the videotape only adds to the mystery of what has happened since the night he was summoned to meet Marc Schaffel. Since then, he’s been trying to recover money he spent in the ill-fated attempt to film a music video of “What More Can I Give?” at the monument. At the time, the project seemed as legitimate as could be: Schaffel told him Michael Jackson was paying all of the video’s expenses out of his pocket, and there would be no problems with costs. The Bush White House had even lent its help, trying to persuade the National Park Service to allow Schaffel to use the Lincoln Memorial for the shoot. Schaffel had in turn hired Becker’s company to do the actual filming.

But after Becker spent $120,000 preparing for the video, which was never filmed, Schaffel suddenly wouldn’t answer his phone calls. Since then, Becker has called and e-mailed a raft of attorneys, trying to find out whether he’ll ever get his money back, all the while learning stranger and stranger things about Schaffel.

Becker says he wishes he’d never had anything to do with the King of Pop.

 

———–

 
“I don’t think the video’s going to be made. You can’t get everyone together,” says Schaffel’s attorney, Thomas Byrne. The attorney says Marc Schaffel, the “What More Can I Give?” producer, and pornographer Fred Schaffel, who directs under the name Marc Fredrics, are the same person.

Indeed, Schaffel, who wouldn’t talk to New Times for this article, was quoted in a recently published report admitting his involvement in gay porn — which he said was a thing of the past — and claiming that he was scapegoated to justify suppressing Jackson’s charity record. He maintained to the L.A. Times that the project would have been a huge success if the plug hadn’t been pulled by forces wanting to thwart Jackson’s career. He said a $20 million deal had all but been worked out with McDonald’s to sell the record at its restaurants. The Times reported that the chain lost interest because of complaints that Jackson had settled a child-molestation suit, but a McDonald’s spokesman said no deal was ever signed.

But, aside from the many other projects benefiting the terrorism victims that are crowding Jackson’s single out, those who saw Schaffel’s work close up suggest that “What More Can I Give?” stumbled because Jackson had a man in charge who was not up to the challenge of such a massive enterprise.

Byrne says Schaffel and Jackson are no longer working together today. “It was only for this project,” he says. But he agrees that the two had been friends for years. Byrne wouldn’t go into details about that friendship. But in 2001, the pair were sufficiently close that in the notes to Invincible, Jackson made a point of singling out Schaffel.

“Marc Schaffel…thank you for all of your help…I love you…Michael,” reads the CD’s liner notes on page 18.

The thank-you is the 21st listed. Michael’s children, Prince and Paris, get the fourth thanks, “Elizabeth” (presumably Elizabeth Taylor) gets the sixth listing, and Schaffel’s congrats comes just before Uri Geller’s.

When Byrne is asked to discuss Schaffel’s background in the gay porn business, he refuses. A few moments later he says, “I’ve heard that there are transitional guys all over Hollywood who went from porn into the legit side. My understanding is that it’s not that unusual.”

Traci Lords and Ron Jeremy, two of pornography’s best-known stars, are proof that a transition from porn to legitimate films is possible. But given Michael Jackson’s past public-relations nightmares — in 1994, Time magazine reported that Jackson had paid the multimillion-dollar settlement to a man who claimed Michael had molested his 13-year-old son — it’s hard to believe that the army of people who surround the pop icon could have thought Jackson’s image would benefit from a professional association with Schaffel.

In fact, the Times suggested that it was Jackson’s representatives who, upon learning of Schaffel’s gay porn involvement, urged Sony to pull the plug on the charity record — which would make Michael’s cries of racism seem very strange indeed. If the report is true, either Jackson and his staff don’t communicate well, Jackson is incredibly naive, or he’s just looking for a convenient excuse for his flagging career.

 

———–

 
New Times showed a copy of the Hungarian videotape to Kevin Glover, a film editor well known in the gay porn industry. At one point, Glover says, his company in the Taft building at Hollywood and Vine had 10 editing bays cutting and splicing blue movies. He estimates that several years ago, 75 percent of the country’s gay porn was being edited at his shop. Today, however, computer software is allowing producers to edit their own material more easily. Glover and his company, Aries Media Group, work less these days on porn than on low-budget horror films. Glover says he’s happy for the change; after more than a decade in the business, he’d had enough of smut.

But he’s still very familiar with the industry and its players, and he instantly recognizes the videotape and the man in the yellow shirt.

“Fred Schaffel was pretty pedestrian. He wasn’t singled out for awards or anything,” Glover says. “He was competent. He didn’t worry about story lines. But he had a pretty good knack for finding attractive men.”

In a career spanning about 15 years, Fredric Marc Schaffel, directing under the name Marc Fredrics (also spelled Frederics on some titles), has made a slew of gay porn films, from his first good seller, 1989’s Cocktales, which marked the debut of a popular actor named Rex Chandler, to James Bond-themed efforts (View to a Thrill, The Man With the Golden Rod), and a series of films shot in Eastern Europe with extremely well-endowed and uncircumcised actors (Mansized, Measuring Up, and Uncut).

“While the guys are all good-looking and decently hung, there just isn’t any sizzle in this video,” complained Gay Chicago Magazine in a review.

“He’s not a great filmmaker,” says producer Vaughn Kinsey. “He’s not gifted when it comes to art or direction or coming up with great ideas. He started out as a model recruiter, finding actors. That’s what he’s really famous for. The other stuff sort of fell in his lap.”

The sentiments were echoed by several other producers and directors in the industry, most of whom did not want their names used in this story. One guy who wasn’t afraid to be identified, however, is one of the industry’s most influential figures, distributor Stan Loeb.

Loeb was recently honored by the Adult Video News with the porn industry’s equivalent of a Lifetime Achievement Oscar. “Loeb is one of the most powerful distributors around,” says AVN’s gay/bi managing editor Jeremy Spencer. “We honored him last year with a special award for keeping gay stuff from falling into the bargain bin. He can still get $60 for a videotape, unlike the straight stuff. And he’s a straight guy himself, which is unusual in this business. Very cool, very smart. A lot of companies want [Loeb’s firm] Paladin Video as their distributor. He has a really good reputation in the industry.”

Loeb himself says he has a long association with Schaffel and his films. “Fred Schaffel used to find a lot of talent for a lot of people in the industry. How he found them, I don’t know. I guess some people just have an eye, especially in the gay industry. He could go into a restaurant or a nightclub, and could spot a guy who could be good in films,” Loeb says, speaking from his Las Vegas office.

“Fred was known for finding talent, and he did it very, very well. And the stuff he used to do was really excellent. But it’s a shame what he’s done to himself,” Loeb says. Schaffel’s first film, Cocktales, and its star, Rex Chandler, were both hits in the industry and showed that Schaffel had a lot of promise. But over the years, Loeb says, the quality of Schaffel’s work has declined. Loeb thinks it’s because the director has had less and less to do with actual filming and attaches his name to projects merely to market them.

Loeb says he refuses to take any new titles from Schaffel. “We have three of his videos [for sale on the Paladin Video catalog] that someone else is selling for a third of the price we pay for them. But as I said, you learn your lessons and move on.”

Despite his feelings about Schaffel, however, the two still occasionally talk. And Loeb says he was stunned last August when Schaffel called one day and said he was going to work for Michael Jackson. “Why? You got me. He said they were very good friends, and that Michael had hired him for a job.” Another time, Loeb says, Schaffel claimed that he and Jackson had been childhood friends. Loeb said he doubted Schaffel’s story. But in November, he received an even more startling call.

“One day Fred called and said he knew someone who was unhappy chartering flights,” Loeb says. “He knew that my son has a chartering business, and he asked if I would talk to his unhappy friend. Then, he put Michael Jackson on the phone. They were driving around in Michael’s limousine. My son ended up flying some of Michael’s people around. That confirmed for me that Fred was really working for him.” Loeb’s son, Jeff Borer, acknowledged that his firm, Xtra Jet in Santa Monica, got work flying some of Jackson’s people through Schaffel.

Loeb says he’s mystified that Schaffel found himself working for the pop singer. “How did Fred end up with the job? I can tell you he’s a great salesman. He can really promote himself. He lived in a mansion where rent was $9,000 a month and drives a Bentley, and I’m not sure how he’s doing it. But that’s Fred Schaffel.”

Glover, the film editor, says he never had problems working with Schaffel. But Schaffel’s transition does puzzle him. “If Michael Jackson wants to give him a break, who am I to question it? But I do think it’s a little odd.”

Says Kinsey, the producer, “Why are Michael and Fred in business together? That’s what everyone’s wondering. Fred has a very warm and outgoing personality. People take him into their confidence because he’s fun to go out with. But I still just can’t understand what Michael would see in him.”

Yet Jackson did, apparently, find something appealing about Schaffel, and he hired him for one of the biggest projects since the ill-fated Invincible. (Though sales of the record started off with a bang, they quickly tanked.)

Contrary to Schaffel and his attorney’s implication that he had put the porn business behind him, it appears he’s never left the industry. Records in the Los Angeles County clerk’s office show that, in 1998, he filed the business names “Marc Fredrics” and “Fred Schaffel Productions.” Indeed, his Big As They Get was released 13 months ago.

And distributor Stan Loeb tells New Times that just a few months ago, Schaffel wrote him a check for $600 to order new packaging for his movie Every Last Inch.

 

———–

 
Joe Becker says he got the call on Monday, October 15. Just six days later Michael Jackson was scheduled to stage a massive charity concert in RFK stadium in Washington, D.C., and Schaffel needed someone to shoot a video the night before on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Becker’s company, ThinkFilm, shoots on-location scenes for The West Wing, and the show’s producer, Llewellyn Wells, calls Becker an integral part of the series. “I can’t say enough good things about Joe,” Wells offers. “ThinkFilm is a very reputable company. Joe is a very honorable man. A very responsible professional. And he’s always done what he can to make The West Wing a better show.”

Says Becker, “We do a lot of television and movies that come into Washington.” And it didn’t surprise him when Schaffel called and said that the National Park Service, which oversees the memorial, had recommended him. Becker and ThinkFilm are experienced at handling the complex permits needed for such a project and work regularly with the park service, he says.

Schaffel told Becker that he and Jackson had been recording the single with stars at different places and in different studios and had been filming those recording sessions for use in a video. But Jackson envisioned an epic gathering of artists on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to complete the film. Since many of the musicians were coming to D.C. for the charity concert, Schaffel explained, Jackson hoped to have them gather the night before at the monument to shoot the song.

But that was only five days away. “It came out of the blue, and it came up fast,” Becker says. Becker was told to submit a bid as soon as possible, and that he would only win the contract if he cut his fees substantially since the project was for charity. But Schaffel didn’t want Becker to worry that there would be a lack of funds on the project. “Michael Jackson would be paying for everything out of his pocket,” Becker says. “That’s what Schaffel kept telling us.”

By the next day, ThinkFilm had submitted its bid to Neverland Valley Entertainment, the company Becker believed was a Jackson enterprise. (Jackson’s Santa Barbara estate and mini-theme park are called Neverland Ranch, so it’s not surprising that Becker assumed the company was Jackson’s. In fact, it was owned by Schaffel, records in the county clerk’s office confirm.) In the bid, ThinkFilm had asked for only half of its normal rates. The following day, Wednesday, Schaffel notified Becker that ThinkFilm had landed the job.

Becker now had three more days to prepare for the video shoot.

“We know the drill,” Becker says, when he describes the complicated process of getting government permission to use settings like the Lincoln Memorial for filming locations. But in the weeks after the terrorists attacks, getting that permission had become much more difficult. Fortunately, Becker says, the Bush White House was on their side. David Kuo, an official in President Bush’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, assured the filmmakers that he would persuade the Park Service to let Michael Jackson use the monument. (And afterward, Kuo invited Becker and his employees to lunch at the White House. Two ThinkFilm producers, Stephanie Antosca and Jonathan Zurer, took him up on the offer.)

Becker was spending plenty of money to line up the right people for the event. Forty grand, for example, went to Janusz Kaminsky, a two-time Oscar-winning cinematographer. Another $4,000 went to a director of photography and $6,000 for a production designer. In total, Becker laid out nearly $120,000 of his own money to have everything in place before Jackson came to town. Meanwhile, Schaffel sent a colleague, Paul Hugo, to work out of ThinkFilm’s offices to help with preparations. (Schaffel had gone back to Los Angeles after the Monday night meeting on the monument’s steps.)

On Wednesday, a conference call was arranged so all of the principal players could learn about Michael’s vision for the film.

“Hugo was here. Schaffel and Michael Jackson and Kaminsky were in Los Angeles. We discussed the creative merits of what we wanted to accomplish. It was a really bad connection,” Becker remembers. “Michael’s voice was very soft. Marc told us he was speaking softly because he had to sing that weekend and was saving it. Michael was saying in his falsetto that the video should be about ‘Love and peace, and it’s larger than the world.’ Kaminsky [who was also in L.A. but in another location] couldn’t hear him, and he asked if Michael could speak up. And Michael replied, ‘No. Marc, you translate for me.'”

Becker says it was an interesting remark. Apparently the two were very close, he says. “So then Schaffel says, ‘I think what Michael is saying is that the video is about peace and love and it’s larger than the world.’ He just said the exact same things. We got a chuckle out of that.”

On Thursday night, Kaminsky flew to Washington. But that same evening, Schaffel called to let them know that the video wasn’t going to happen. The logistical problems had been too great, Schaffel told them, and it was impossible to get all of the stars in place at the right time. The project would be postponed, at least for a few weeks.

“It was no big deal,” Becker says. “These kinds of postponements happen all the time in our industry.” Becker took Kaminsky to the memorial to show him the shooting site the next day, had a few drinks and then put him on a plane back home. “It was just no big deal,” Becker repeats.

However, Becker still expected the first of three checks he was supposed to receive that week, based on the contract he had signed. When the check didn’t arrive, he tried in vain to get through to Schaffel, who had arrived with Jackson for that weekend’s concert.

That Saturday in New York, Paul McCartney put on a 9/11 tribute concert at Madison Square Garden to rave reviews. The show featured Mick Jagger, Elton John, David Bowie, Eric Clapton and the Who, and it raised $14 million in ticket sales. Journalists declared the show triumphant.

They were less sanguine about Michael Jackson’s extravaganza in D.C. the next night.

The October 21 concert, “United We Stand: What More Can I Give?” was not only intended to raise cash by featuring dozens of big stars, it was also Jackson’s chance to showcase his charity song for a large stadium crowd.

But the scheduled nine-hour pageant turned into a 12-hour marathon beset with technical problems. By the time Jackson finally took the stage at midnight, three hours late and five hours after RFK Stadium vendors had run out of food, about a third of the crowd had gone home.

“United They Stood, for an Awfully Long Time,” read one headline the next day. If the telethon put together by celebrities soon after the attacks and the McCartney concert in New York had both been marked by somber elegance and class, the Jackson concert was shot through with jarring juxtapositions of grieving and glaring self-promotion. “Maybe we should take it as a sign that things really are returning to normal,” wrote the Washington Post. “After weeks of taking the high road, the egos have landed.”

Jackson saved his charity record for the concert finale. “The new benefit song he introduced, ‘What More Can I Give,’ became a shambles as his stageful of guests missed their cues or couldn’t be heard,” wrote the New York Times.

It was an inauspicious debut for the song. But then, this particular tune had already been mangled in the past. “What More Can I Give?” turned out to be a Jackson retread.

In April 1999, Jackson had promised to raise millions of dollars to benefit Albanian children in Kosovo with proceeds from “What More Can I Give?” But at two concerts held in Seoul and Munich that year, Jackson didn’t perform the number even though, like the D.C. concert last October, each show had been named after the song. His promise to record the tune and forward proceeds to Kosovo never happened.

Joe Becker spent the day after the D.C. concert, Monday, October 22, vainly trying to get through to Schaffel and Hugo at their hotel rooms, only to be told that the entire Jackson contingent was sleeping after their late night.

“We finally caught Hugo on Tuesday running for the airport,” Becker says. Hugo assured them that Schaffel would deal with the check once he returned to L.A. “That was the last I heard from them. Since then, I’ve only heard from attorneys, who tell me Schaffel and Hugo can’t pay me. These guys have screwed me.”

New York producer Mark Haefeli had a similar experience. He spent $19,000 sending a film crew to a recording session in Los Angeles, only to find that Schaffel’s needs were exorbitant and his requests unusual. Like Becker, he’s now getting nowhere trying to get his money back. “I’ve never had an encounter like this in the entertainment business,” he says.

“I thought this was Michael Jackson’s company. And they were certainly using his name as if it was Michael’s company,” Haefeli says. He had been asked to provide a film crew as Jackson recorded portions of the song with Reba MacIntyre and Boyz II Men’s Billy Gilman at a Burbank studio. “They were very heavy on the orders, asking for lighting trucks and things like it was a feature film. Well, Michael Jackson is known for doing things a little overboard, so I thought, ‘Why not?'” Haefeli sent a crew that included trusted cameraman Randy Krehbiel.

Krehbiel says his job was to provide behind-the-scenes footage of the song taping, including a special moment when President Bush was supposed to call the singer at the studio. Krehbiel says crew members spent hours setting up a battery of lights — far too many, in his opinion — around the telephone that Jackson would use to receive Bush’s call. “Everywhere Jackson went, his lighting people said, he had to be wrapped with these 4,000-watt softlights from every angle coming at him,” Krehbiel says. “Being as white as he is, in the video camera the picture is blown out. There’s no detail. You just see a mouth and two eyes floating in space.”

Krehbiel says it wasn’t the first time he’d come across the bizarre requirements that came with a Michael Jackson production. Several years earlier, he says, he had been hired on a similar assignment, to film behind-the-scenes footage for a Janet Jackson video, which would include shots of her brother. “‘Don’t look at him! Don’t stare!’ his people kept telling us. Everyone had to stay back 11 feet from him, and I thought, ‘How’d they come up with that number [of feet ]?’ I said, ‘Hey, wait a minute. I’m a cameraman, I have to look at him.'”

While the powerful lights focused on the featured telephone in the Burbank studio were set up and adjusted, Krehbiel says, he had time to film Jackson and MacIntyre recording. “It was a great song,” he says. “It’s too bad it didn’t come out, because it was really good.”

Eventually, he says, word came down that the telephone call wasn’t going to happen. “They told us the president didn’t have time for the call,” Krehbiel says.

Haefeli says Schaffel called him the next day and said he was pleased with how the day’s work had gone. He told Haefeli that he’d need his crew for the entire next week. Then, late Sunday night, Schaffel called back, saying that everything Krehbiel had shot was unusable.

“Schaffel said it was the worst thing they’d seen in their lives. Not a frame of it was usable. I knew something was wrong. Randy Krehbiel is one of the best cameramen in the business. He’s filmed Paul McCartney, R.E.M., the Rolling Stones… He’s a beautiful artist. There’s absolutely no way it was entirely unusable. Even with bad lighting, this guy would have made it work.”

Haefeli has demanded the return of the tapes, but he hasn’t gotten them back.

After several press releases by Jackson’s publicists announcing the imminent release of the song in October, suddenly there was no news about the project. While Haefeli had his own wrestling match with Schaffel, Becker spent weeks in increasingly heated conversations with an attorney who worked for Neverland Valley (Schaffel’s company, not Jackson’s) who questioned the validity of Becker’s contract, argued over what he was really owed and told him he’d get nothing if he didn’t ask for substantially less, Becker says. He grew tired verbally sparring with the attorney, and in late November he turned to the White House’s Kuo for help.

“Kuo said, ‘Let me make some calls.’ And then, within 20 minutes, Michael Jackson’s attorney Karen Langford called me,” Becker says.

Langford was helpful and courteous. But in her conversations with him, Becker says, and in e-mails she sent that Becker turned over to New Times, she indicated that the relationship between Schaffel and Jackson had soured. (Langford did not return calls for this article.)

In his telephone conversations with Langford, Becker says, she suggested that Schaffel and Jackson’s partnership had taken place outside of the “normal channels” that governed the singer’s business relationships.

A letter obtained by New Times from one of Jackson’s attorneys claims that Jackson had terminated his relationship with Schaffel after learning only last November of Schaffel’s background: “As a result of that information, Mr. Jackson …terminates the business relationship with Mr. Schaffel.”

New Times asked Schaffel’s attorney, Tom Byrne, if it was possible, over the multi-year friendship between the porn director and the pop star, for Jackson not to know what his friend was doing for a living.

“I’m just not prepared to address that issue,” Byrne said.

 

———–

 
Michael Jackson got plenty of media play recently when his newly hired attorney, the ubiquitous Johnnie Cochran, held a news conference to announce that the singer was planning legal action against his record company, Sony. Claiming that his royalties had been shorted, Jackson joined a number of other high-profile stars challenging the way recording firms contract with their artists. This turned out to be a prelude to the performer’s recent racism rant against Sony, which has offered no response. Meanwhile, Jackson has threatened other legal action that didn’t make the papers. Joe Becker, after complaining about losing the $120,000 in the “What More Can I Give?” fiasco, now finds himself in the Gloved One’s crosshairs.

Becker continues to carp about the way he was treated by Schaffel and Neverland Valley Entertainment, and in January he wrote to Jackson attorney Langford that the entire project had seemed like a “scam” perpetrated by Schaffel “and perhaps Jackson himself.”

That e-mail recently prompted a response from Jackson attorney Zia Modabber, who accused Becker of trying to extort the singer with “obnoxious e-mails threatening to disseminate false and defamatory statements in the hope of extorting a payment.” Modabber ominously puts Becker on notice that “we will hold you accountable to the full extent permitted by law.”

Becker says he’s stunned. “Naturally,” he says, disgustedly, “investigating the guilty parties has ended up in the prosecution of the innocent.”

Becker is mulling over legal action against Schaffel and Jackson to get his money back. Others say it’s ironic that Schaffel finds himself accused of squandering other people’s money. Ten years ago he sued an ex-lover, alleging the same thing.

Meanwhile, “What More Can I Give” may yet endure a third attempt to become a Michael Jackson charity record.

Rob Gordon, president of a company called ID Medical, says his firm is attempting to buy the song from Schaffel. He anticipates an announcement soon about the transfer of ownership, but whether the song is actually released, and when, will depend upon the wishes of Jackson.

Acknowledging that it’s too late to release the single as a tribute for 9/11 victims (“There isn’t as much zeal now”), he says he hopes it can be used to benefit various children’s organizations.

Becker says he’ll believe Gordon’s claims when he sees a check for the money he’s owed.

 
2017 Update: A little more than two months after this story was published, on October 2, 2002, we got the word that New Times Los Angeles would be closing down. (We ended up going back to the Phoenix New Times, then bounced around to newspapers in Kansas City and Fort Lauderdale before becoming editor in chief of The Village Voice in March, 2007.)

On that same day in 2002, WKTU-FM in New York became the first radio station to air Michael Jackson’s single, “What More Can I Give,” and did it without getting permission from Jackson himself (Marc Schaffel told MTV that a couple hundred copies had been sent to the artists who had helped make it, so it wasn’t really a surprise that it had eventually ended up in the hands of a radio station.)

Never released formally, the song did become a digital download a year later, on October 27, 2003, at a website set up by Schaffel, for $2 per download. Funds raised by sales went not to 9/11 victims but to various children’s charities. You can see the song in various versions now on YouTube.

Meanwhile, a February 2003 Martin Bashir documentary about Jackson’s private life, including footage of his friendship with a 13-year-old boy, Garvin Arvizo, would eventually lead to criminal molestation charges against the singer. A couple of weeks after the documentary aired in the US, Jackson and Schaffel made plans for flying the Arvizo family to Brazil, and Schaffel booked flights. But the trip didn’t happen, and afterwards there were various allegations about what the trip was supposed to accomplish. (Schaffel, it came out later, was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case.) Jackson was eventually acquitted of the molestation charges after a 2005 trial.

Schaffel and Jackson ended up suing each other in 2004, with each of them claiming that they were owed money by the other. Schaffel was awarded $900,000 and Jackson was awarded $200,000.

Jackson died on June 25, 2009. Five years later, Marc Schaffel and Debbie Rowe — Michael Jackson’s wife from 1996 to 1999 and mother of his two oldest children, Prince and Paris — announced that they were engaged to be married.

“He loves me, knows my kids, loves my kids and we’ll see where this goes,” she said.

 

[Marc Schaffel and Debbie Rowe]

 
And finally, we want to thank Mark Ebner and Paul Barresi for the tip that led to one of the strangest things we’ve ever looked into.

 
——————–

Aaron Smith-Levin on how to Speak Scientologese, Part 2

Aaron promises that you’ll get a chuckle from this one.

 

 
——————–

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 4,725 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,828 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,322 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,362 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,074 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 600 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,689 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,829 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,149 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,124 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 480 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,782 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 889 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,291 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,164 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 745 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,250 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,494 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,603 days.

 
——————–

3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on April 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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  • Right, time for coffee! This looks like a two mug story.

    • MrsShark

      Porn, Michael Jackson, JT ….what a morning! All we are missing is Kuba!

  • Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack

    Now there is a strange story. I occasionally mention that an old friend was an executive in the cult. When he left he told me that Michael Jackson was, in fact, a Scientologist but also referred to him as a “liability” and that his belief in Scientology would be publicized once his public image had been cleansed. Thank goodness that Scientology was never able to exploit him publicly.

    Okay. Michael Jackson latched onto a director, probably after going down to the set (or having people down at the set come to him) because he felt attracted to the actors. I can believe that no one around Michael Jackson had the nerve to say, “I don’t think this is such a great idea. You’re already in enough trouble”. Maybe someone did and he replied, “I won’t be doing anything that can’t be fixed by a good lawyer and a bad cult”.

    • Robert Eckert

      I misread your sentence as “Michael Jackson latched onto a director, probably after going down on the set”

      • “The other stuff sort of fell in his lap.”

      • Robert Eckert

        “(or having people down at the set come on him)” Sorry Korgo I just can’t help it.

  • Jeb Burton

    Wow, what a coincidence. I also did a film with Schaffel. However, “The Angry Inch” was panned by gay porn critics.

  • Panopea Abrupta

    Alamosa, Colorado, population 9,810, site of our next thriving $cientology Mission?
    Let’s see.
    Hmmm, a chiropractor’s office and the Mission share the same address.
    A typical pattern.
    What is it with chiros and $cientology?
    Not merely content to manipulate your bones, they massage your wallet too.

    Here’s his background.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/669a9a043f6103660dfa7b8d2d153281827e78c54bc4283dd4edf16d591f34d4.jpg

    Here’s the Mission and his office.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/82a2ee984c7a4b1707601efa490fcf19135dbc9aa7f82d499ce81951aaa4771d.jpg

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9ec31fa45d794df2f6cde584794b9c885ecd00b9b8a50531e0635c15ca4e87f2.jpg

    And here’s the reality

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7a62912b048abf60aa42f4f4ef530b03aa6519187d5e306a30851ac2f68e276b.jpg

    Straight up and vertical, Davey.
    Obviously.

    • Chiropractic adjustments damage the body’s woo immune system.

      • Missionary Kid

        I was ready to ask for proof when I read, “Chiropractic adjustments damage the body…” because as much as I disbelieve much of what chiropractors are taught, I’d want to see proof of damage. Then I got to the “…body’s woo immune system.” Good one.

    • Bleuler

      It’s one of those questions I asked myself repeatedly ever since i started following scientology, what is the attraction for them? Seems like they’re drawn to it like flies to cow-dung.

      • otviii2late

        Scientology front group WISE management ran a successful program targetting Chirpracters and dentists.

      • L. Wrong Hubturd

        Many chiropractors are already prone to believe the woo woo.

    • Chee Chalker

      Chiropractors aren’t real doctors
      Scientology is not a real religion

      (With apologies to chiropractors everywhere. I know it’s an honorable profession)

    • WhiteCentauress

      “…employs approximately one people at this single location.” The plants are a nice touch.

    • PeaceMaker

      I used to pay attention to the missions list years ago, and I think it rings a bell that there has long been one in Alamosa, that has probably never amounted to anything more than a part-time operation run out of someone’s actual business. It used to be that besides a healthy number of missions with their own storefront doing some real business, there were a lot of second-tier missions operating on that basis, as well as a lot of supposed mission startups that never got any further than being materials piled up in someone’s home. Now there are very few of the independent storefronts left – and the orgs that aren’t strong enough to have managed to build an ideal org, mostly look like the storefront missions of old.

      My guess is, typically, the mission holder is some old-timer who got in during boom times 30 or 40 years ago, and is hanging on with a token presence they are unwilling (and possibly not allowed) to give up until they are no longer even physically able to do so. Come to think of it, I wonder if there are mission holders who would rather retire to Florida or somewhere, who are stuck having to keep up a token Scientology presence under threat of suffering consequences for closing up shop – assuming, of course, that they haven’t been regged out of all their retirement assets and left financially unable to do anything different.

      • Missionary Kid

        My opinion is that the mission holders that are left are true believers, and most of them can’t sustain their operations because the cult is shrinking and not bringing in any more parishioners victims to sustain their operations. since they’re expected to send revenues “uplines”.Eventually, they close.

        The $cientology website doesn’t refer anyone to the smaller missions, or acknowledge that they exist.

        • PeaceMaker

          Not just true believers, but dead-enders.
          Also, I think that some of them also used to make good money as FSMs and field auditors, and may still – which might be why some of the missions are still open to whatever minimal extent, at all.
          Scientology has obviously all but abandoned the missions – but I’m not sure that they really help Scientology, anyway. They are like Christian Science reading rooms, a relic of a bygone era when people were interested in things that no longer hold any appeal.

          • Missionary Kid

            Those are excellent points. I’ve added them to my theory on why there are still any missions. I haven’t looked but I’ll bet that the mission holders are at least middle aged, if not older, and they are probably looking to retire or get out of the business.

            • PeaceMaker

              I knew a fair bit about the missions long ago, including from personal experience. I haven’t really kept up, but what I have seen confirms my impression that most of the remaining missions of any significance in the US and Europe, are longstanding ones run by mission holders from Scientology’s gray-haired demographic. For instance, as of at least a few years ago, the Peoria mission was run by a guy who had been involved since 1950, and started the mission not too long after. Scientology keeps selling new mission packages, but very few of them open at all or even get past the stage of being a part-time operation in a back room, and you might be able to count on one hand the number of newer missions that still survive with a meaningful presence like a storefront.

            • Missionary Kid

              ” Scientology keeps selling new mission packages, but very few of them
              open at all or even get past the stage of being a part-time operation in
              a back room…” To me, that just seems to be one more way that $cientology preys on the faithful.

              Thank you, again for your insights.

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner
    • Bleuler

      I was thinking reg for the Valley Ideal Org. But those might be overlapping to some extent.

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Heh ๐Ÿ˜€

    • flyonthewall
      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Do we think the ‘tache is obligatory?

        • flyonthewall

          he looks exactly like him don’t you think?

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            Doppelgangers!

        • Mark Foster

          For the juicy bits, yes.
          Huh?
          The exit? Time for me to leave? Um, okay….

    • Graham

      Pornstache!

  • The Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (which turned into the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships) is still around. Once established, those religious polyps never die.

    Scientology’s Greg Mitchell lobbied them in 2009: “With several other members of a faith-based working group on criminal justice reform, met with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and proposed the White House organize a national conference on creating a criminal justice system that reflects our nation’s values.”

    Hopefully that went nowhere. If groups want to lobby for their particular value systems in criminal justice, let them pick up the tab!

    • dchoiceisalwaysrs

      Which nation’s values? Do you mean the scientology nation which simply ignores the criminal harassment laws in Texas for example. And then cloaking themselves as a tax free religious business attempts to take the reigns of Clearwater City council through extorting both the electorate and the elected with graft.
      Who needs lobbying of criminal justice legislaton when graft and fraud in and against the courts is more expedient? Simply extort the monies needed then throw it around until it buys what you want.Laws.ftttt….orgs say what is to be done..not the laws.

      • They were going in with useful idiots from other organizations to enhance their “just another mainstream religion” creds, plus to be able to call in favors when Scientology needs their issues lobbied.

        They collect them at their front group International Religious Freedom Roundtable.

        If there was a faith-based national conference on the justice system, on the tax-payer dime, who was representing the non-religious?

        • Philbyification

          She was feisty enough to be alive today if she and her Children hadn’t fallen prey to a murdering Con-Man, that’s who RMy….Her Past work is Completely relevant today, even more so, imho,. RIP MMO, a Brave Advocate and Author of Brilliant Quips and Quotes, perfect for CW CITY COUNCIL Meetings…..lol

  • Tracy Schmitz

    WEIRD-A-RAMA!. only in la la land hollyweird.. strange bedfellows indeed all around…

  • BEETEE

    Aaron Smith-Levin – “How to speak Scientologese” – is hysterical. Love it!!
    translated in Scientologese…

    Aaron – it is so theta that you are duplicating Ron’s hope to clear the planet.

    The language Wogs used on the whole track restimulates pre clears banks and they become crims so Dr Hubbard, being the big being he was, changed those “restimulating” words so we all can think in a new unit of time as Scientology builds a new civilization where there is no crime, no insanity and honest beings have rights.

    Furthermore, THE PSYCHS designed Wog Words so Wogs would reach for electric shock and psych drugs.

    Ron figured this out and for a mere $23,523,232 plus substantial donations to the IAS, Planetary Clearing Boyz, Stupid Powers, I Help, Narconon, Criminon, ABLE – you too can have amazing wins and go free with Ron.

    Thank you LRH – Hip Hip Hooray

    • EmmaDaoust

      Bigly.

  • Aha! The difference between an Advanced Org and a Saint Hill Org: It depends on which side of the upper Bridge they offer. Thanks Aaron!

    (Sort of moot now that Miscavige has junked the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course, against Elron’s direct orders.)

  • Edward Whalley

    Support the WOG Sight Seeing Service in beautiful Clearwater!
    See the World Of Scientology in its Native Glory!
    Talk to Sea Org Members! Take home an improbable hat!

  • Ann B Watson

    Another blast from the past piece, thank you Tony. And Aaron your piece had me laughing very early in the am here. Love that! ๐Ÿ’›

  • Scientology’s press release:
    Thousands of Children Swarmed Clearwaterโ€™s Coachman Park to Hunt Among 30,000 Eggs at Clearwater Community Volunteersโ€™ 25th Easter Egg Hunt (chased by Sea Org recruiters?)

    The Clearwater Community Volunteers (CCV) was established in 1994 by parishioners of the Church of Scientology with the purpose of helping to create a better community for all citizens of Clearwater and Pinellas County. CCV raises money to feed homeless and hungry children in Pinellas County through Public Defender Bob Dillingerโ€™s program, Nourish to Flourish, The Sheriffโ€™s Youth Ranch and The Sheriffโ€™s Police Athletic League in Lealman.

    Okay, let’s look at that claim.
    2014 Form 990EZ: http://990.erieri.com/EINS/593442288/593442288_2014_0be43361.PDF

    They do a fashion show fund raiser, but the proceeds ($8125) go their Winter Wonderland, and other groups like Nourish to Flourish. No information on how that’s split, but I think it’s safe to assume that WW, their own PR event, gets the lion’s share of that.

    Flag, at its peak was taking 10s of millions [Edit: $2M] every week and probably still makes pretty good large money. And from a tiny check of outsider money, they make it sound like they’re feeding kids all over the county. Yeah, right.

    Category:Clearwater Community Volunteers

    • Since CCV runs the Winter Wonderland event, it’s strange that they bury it in Schedule G, Part II on their Form 990EZ.

      WW is another circular event, where they take food and toy donations, pass them on, and pat themselves on the back for it.

    • Tony Ortega

      Mat Pesch said the high was about $2 million a week.

      • Yup, that fits Hy Levy’s $100M+ a year.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=97&v=C-IoOe5Lx8w

        CCV gives Nourish to Flourish (at most) $1000? Woah, big money to wipe out hunger!

        (I think they buried the Winter Wonderland costs to make it hard to figure out what their take from the fashion event was.)

        Hmm, $2M/week was for the Flag sharks. The IAS sharks and the rest got their bites too.

  • Fink Jonas

    If John Travolta keeps hanging around the porta potty soon he’ll featured on the film YSCOHB!

  • madame duran

    Can’t read all that wall of text right now but had to share the latest Tampa Bay Times article on the Battle of the Cs (Clearwater City Council vs. the cult) over the aquarium property. Here’s the link: http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/scientologists-and-others-step-up-the-pressure-as-clearwater-nears-vote-on/2320632

    Reader comments had me in stitches (‘Fess up…which one of y’all is “Sharkey”?).

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b02d9ed24e71f14df755dd581f86789b2c8cce6e8ae3a695c78774556e36c50c.jpg

    • dreamcatcher
      • Kestrel

        The SandCastle? I want to eat in the Hibiscus restaurant at the Fort Harrison.

        • Bleuler

          How is their food? Good clam-chowder?

          • I’ve eaten there many times. The food was bland and the chicken was dry. Interesting though we always gave them high marks on the mandatory score card you need to fill out letting them know how it was. We always felt bad for the staff and didn’t want them to get in trouble if things weren’t perfect.

            • Bleuler

              Mandatory score cards, really? It’s a pity not even the food is good, so that one could have enjoyed something about the visit.

            • We went for the view. It sat right on the intra-coastal. We’d always ask for a window seat.

            • Philbyification

              How was the “soupeni” Phil? ;/

            • Sine qua non

              Meh. Chicken is always dry everywhere.

            • Missionary Kid

              With the right sauce and/or marinade, it isn’t.

            • L. Wrong Hubturd

              You have obviously never enjoyed the chicken at Carrabba’s. Mmmm Mmmmm good!

      • “Well-meaning” is, of course, defined by Keeping Scientology Working, which contains Hubbard’s words “We’d rather see you dead than incapable.”

      • dchoiceisalwaysrs

        Objecting to and rejecting to deal with organizations which since 1975 have in Clearwater deceived time and time again is not bigotry nor is it against religions. It is common sense and a responsibility of civil minded people. Scientology organizations cannot be trusted and certainly not its leader who recently had a restraining order against him and his organizations for their harassment.
        Money is not a good reason to permit malignant narcissistic behaviour to get the upper hand.

    • downtherabbithole
    • WhiteCentauress

      Haaahaaaa….now that’s a perfect little verbal trap he set there.

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    I was not expecting the Debbie Rowe twist at the end! So funny ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Marshall

      IKR? But also more than a bit creepy. They do have the whole taking advantage of Michael Jackson thing in common – Marriages have been built on less. Of course, I’m not a King of Pop fan either – only when he was cute and part of the Jackson 5. Before he morphed into a weird version of Peter Pan.

      • Newiga

        Michael Jackson may have been weird but he was a celebrated and talented musician and dancer. His albums and music videos were groundbreaking and topped all kinds of charts.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awards_and_nominations_received_by_Michael_Jackson

        • Marshall

          I don’t disagree Newiga – he was extremely talented but that doesn’t erase his many other issues.

          • Newiga

            True that. I admired and loved him so much as a kid (in the mid to late nineties) before I knew of understood anything about his issues or lawsuits. I only wish we could celebrate him as an african-american musical genius that he also was.

            • machiabelly

              I have a hard time separating performers from their private lives, to be honest. There are celebrities whose work I will never patronize because of their words, actions, or beliefs — people I find to be boorish, violent, racist, demeaning, criminal, hateful, and of course Scientological.

              Then there are those who rub me the wrong way for no good reason. ๐Ÿ˜‰

            • Marshall

              I’m the same way – from day one Nicolas Cage rubbed me the wrong way. No reason no logic. Everyone was raving about Raising Arizona and I could not get past him.

            • WhiteCentauress

              I actually turn away from the screen if he comes on. He repulsed me so badly. I don’t know why, but it’s real. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜ซ

            • Missionary Kid

              Well, he’s an ex-pug, so that probably “modified” his features, and the way he was made to look in the movie wasn’t peaches and cream.

            • Missionary Kid

              I liked his performance in Raising Arizona he plaid it flat, which I thought was appropriate.

              OTO, It was funny to learn that Randall Cobb didn’t know how to ride a motorcycle.

    • Newiga

      Me neither…. Spat some coffee on the good old keyboard.

    • Coming soon:

      Marc and Debbie make a Porno

    • Never_In

      Yes! You really couldn’t have a more unusual twist from a movie plot. So bizarre, although maybe par for the course amongst the cast of characters that latched onto MJ over the years.

  • Supper Powers

    I heart Aaron. He’s such a natural teacher and funny as hell!

  • MrsShark

    Amazing job Tony!

  • Dee Findlay-DeElizabethan
    • dchoiceisalwaysrs

      I think Agami’s statement needs a little help with the truth
      He said “…”Today I had to confront the harsh reality of a City Council plagued by bigotry and bias..”

      It should read he had to confront the harsh reality of a City Council educated on the rampant and ubiguitious deception by scientology since it invaded Clearwater under cover as ‘the United Churches of Florida”.

      • Robert Eckert

        Bigotry against Scientologists is called “Xenuphobia”

      • pluvo

        When someone is opposing the CoS and the Big Being he gets automatically labeled a bigot. What an affront to Miscavige to decline his lure despite all his efforts and the dog and pony show.

    • Juicer77

      No more buildings for you!
      No more farmer’s market for you!
      And furthermore… neener! And so on and so forth.
      What a bunch of maroons, as Bugs Bunny would say.

    • Graham

      Thanks Dee.

      “Mayor George Cretekos and council member Doreen Caudell also say they have decided to vote on buying the property” I never expected that. Is this the same Mayor Cretekos who came out of the meeting with Miscavige sounding like a bumbling apologist for the fake church?

      • Dee Findlay-DeElizabethan

        Yes, we’ll see tomorrow.

      • Missionary Kid

        That just says that they’re going to vote. It doesn’t say how they’re going to vote.

  • Roger Hornaday

    Sometimes you have to hobnob with bottom-feeders like Paul Barresi who snitches on famous people for money with lurid tales of sex, in order to get to the truth of other lurid tales of sex.

    • Tony Ortega

      Glad you liked it.

      • Tony Ortega

        And for the record, we didn’t pay Barresi a dime for this story or “The Bag Man.”

    • Observer

      I can’t sneer at any of the damaged human beings in this story. To me this reads like a tragedy. Victimized victimizers, just like Scientology.

  • Jeb Burton

    Very well written article. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

  • flyonthewall

    Sounds like Tony really did find the marble in the oatmeal. No, it never gets boring being right

    • Rasha

      …he gets to drink from the firehose??

      • flyonthewall

        he’s a very lucky boy

  • TheMirrorThetan

    Interesting trip back in time, Tony.
    Thank Xenu the cult didn’t get Jackson locked in.
    Too many followers of his still believe his bullshit lies and would have happily signed away their souls.

  • Chee Chalker

    Scientologists everywhere to Michael Jackson:
    “Thanks Michael! For making Scientology look normal by comparison!”

    • Jackson fans everywhere to Scientology:
      “Thanks Scientology! For making Michael look normal by comparison!”

  • Silence of the Clams

    Scientology photoshopped Debbie in that pic. I have it on galactic authority that this is the original picture…..
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a931b3bebc859162646b3cab7570c5ba405967dc75c8cd4b5c29f25bf945178c.jpg

    • Bleuler

      “Come on Davey-boy, tell them what you do on Hollywood Boulevard!”

    • Iconoclast Six

      Wuh-oh, Tom’s gonna go all Jack Reacher with jealousy!

  • Missionary Kid

    The Santa Barbara D.A. who prosecuted Michael Jackson, Tom Sneddon, was, in a friend of mine’s opinion, either not the brightest or the sloppy D.A. Years before, when Sneddon was a deputy district attorney, my friend served on a jury that found someone not guilty, when, in fact, he was guilty because Sneddon left off one vital fact. Since it wasn’t in the transcript, the jury could not use it, and it led to reasonable doubt and a not guilty finding.

    Afterwards, when they asked, they found out that Sneddon didn’t put that fact into evidence, and that fact would have led the jury to find the man guilty.

    IMO, years later, Sneddon made the mistake of over-charging Jackson. He tried to nail Jackson on too many charges, and when some of those peripheral charges could be challenged, the rest of the case fell apart.

    Sorry fans, as much as I like MJ’s music, I believe he was a child psychologically and a child molester.

    • Marshall

      I agree. When our local quarterback was in a lot of hot water for apparently acting a bit like Danny Masterson on a date – everyone was saying “he would never do that”. My response was how do you know that? All I know about him is that he is a good athlete. Period. That does not make him a hero or a good person. I would say the same about MJ – he was extremely talented and that is what I know personally. Unfortunately, there is plenty of evidence that he had a lot of other issues that can’t be ignored.

      • Missionary Kid

        I had a friend who seemed to be a good guy. I fixed him up with a woman who was also a friend of mine. Afterwards, I asked her about the guy. She said he was the biggest jerk you could imagine. What I realized from that incident was that how someone acts around their peers and how they act with the opposite sex can be two totally different things.

        I wasn’t with them on their date, but in listening to her complaints, I could imagine totally what he had done. As I interacted with him later, I could then see she was right.

        Your quarterback probably had the entitlement attitude that came from being treated as special, and acted on it. The sad thing is that the girl probably endured a lot of hostility for telling (what I assume is) the truth.

      • MrsShark

        It’s what people said about Bill Cosby too. At first – oh she is a liar. Then one more comes forward then 6 more then 20. Of course Cosby is much older, but more victims may come forward for Danny. If it’s one persons word against another – that’s one thing. But when more come out the wooodwork, this can’t be ignored anymore. I can’t believe Ashton Kutcher keeps him on this show they are doing.

        • mark

          I doubt Kutcher can do anything at this time. Masterson has not been charged with anything and most likely has a contract for at least the current season. Should he be charged and found guilty or plead out, then he would likely be removed from the show.

      • LHS (Nasty Woman)

        “All I know about him is that he is a good athlete. Period. That does not make him a hero or a good person.”

        When my parents and I told my gym teacher that I was being physically and verbally harassed in class by a specific group of people, the teacher (who had some serious willful blindness going on) said that she didn’t think one of the guys would do this because she coached him at basketball. Um, so what did that have to do with anything?

    • Sine qua non

      Given the totality of his life experiences, it’s amazing MJ lasted in any sense as long as he did. That’s all I can say. Tragedies aplenty, all around. Yet isn’t his Dad still alive? I could be wrong about that.

      • Missionary Kid

        I believe the asshole is still alive.

  • Newiga

    “Tory even gave us a little award, a small trophy, for our work writing about Scientology. (We still have it.)”

    So sweet. Getting an award from Tory Magoo is an honor. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Robert Eckert

    I saw Michael Jackson live many decades ago when I was a little kid and so was he, in a little club in Niagara Falls that my bio-dad (occasional visitations) took me to. The Jackson Family was the opening act for the main attraction, the Osmond Family, and afterwards Phyllis Diller did some stand-up. Even at my young age I could understand that the Jacksons were actually a much better act than the Osmonds, and that little Michael was the one who could be a star.

    • Observer

      The Osmonds were like vanilla pudding without the vanilla.

      • Kestrel

        They were a great opening act for Andy Williams at the Ohio State Fair.

    • Jeb Burton

      That’s like Jimi Hendrix opening for the Monkees. (True story).

  • flyonthewall

    buncha weirdos, that’s all I got to say about all those people. Coming from me, that says a lot

  • Jimmy3

    Why do you only ever write about these grandiose figures of Pop? This big piece about the King of Pop. Then you told us about the God of Pop. And what’s next? The Titan of Pop? The Iggy of Pop?

    Why not tell us a story about just Regular Guy of Pop? Write a story about John Q. Pop.

  • Mary

    Aaron Smith-Levin, I really enjoyed this listen. Cracked me up big time when at about 45:00 you told the story of the person who used the word, “cycle.” What else was funny about that was that he said he knew you were a “scientologist” because you were so bright. LOLOLOL THIS he is saying to an SP!!!! An “IN ARC” statement to a declared SP. What does that make him? LOL Did he also know you were an SP because we were so bright?! LOL Holy shit. So did he buy the house? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Some of this is so sad. RPF being condoned because scientology is a religion when out in society people would go to jail for such inhumane treatment of people. “Religions” that are so inhumane….

  • Jack99

    Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  • Too Much

    blue films

    What the hell is a “blue film?”

    • itsIBBy

      *plays porn music* bow chicka wow wow

    • Marshall

      Think the term might have originated because of Blue Laws.

      Blue laws in the United States vary by state. Blue laws are laws designed to enforce religious standards. Many states prohibit selling alcoholic beverages for on- and off-premises sales in one form or another on Sundays at some restricted time. Blue laws may also prohibit retail activity on days other than Sunday.

    • I think it falls somewhere between soft porn and,,, porn. In 1969 there was a movie called Blue Movie that was just about sex. It had some other name to start but Warhol used the wrong type of film during production and it turned the film blue. This was apparently the beginning of the whole trend in calling any films in this genre ‘blue movies’.

    • Techie

      In the 50s, when real color film was quite expensive, they used to shoot porno on black-and-white film then put it though a blue-toning process to make it a little easier to watch, not as harsh as true black and white. Hence the term “blue movie” for a porno. Weird factoid, Gold had one of those blue-toning machines in storage. I asked around to find out why and never got a straight answer.

      • Newiga

        Curious. Not the blue movie for a porno bit but Gold having blue-toning machines in storage. Hmmm…

      • Gus Cox

        I wonder if the stashed it next to their direct metal LP lathes and Telex machines?

    • grundoon

      blue – adjective

      Oxford dictionary
      3. informal (of a film, joke, or story) having sexual or pornographic content. โ€˜a blue movieโ€™
      Unfortunately a paid subscription is needed to see the full OED entry with the origin of the term.

      dictionary.com [British]
      21. indecent, titillating, or pornographic: blue films

      Merriam-Webster
      7a : profane, indecent a blue movie
      7b : off-color, risquรฉ blue jokes

      Wiktionary
      (entertainment, informal) Pornographic or profane. The air was blue with oaths.โ€ƒ a blue movieโ€Ž

      Wiktionary has this highly doubtful explanation: “From the color of the envelopes used to contain missives of the censors and managers to vaudevillian performers on objectionable material from their acts that needed to be excised.”

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      Blue film is anything racy or pornographic. There are so many explanations for the origin of the term– you will see them below.

      Two that haven’t been given here:
      1. It was derived fro the movie “The Moon is Blue” (1953). A mild sex comedy, “The Moon is Blue” flouted the Hollywood Production Code and was a first strike in eventually bringing it to an end. The film was banned in various municipalities and states, and was featured in a memorable episode of MASH. “Blue movie” was likely not derived from “The Moon is Blue,” however, because the term seems to have been around previous to 1953.

      2. In vaudeville, if a dancer crossed the line, the spot operator would switch to a blue filter to obscure the questionable content. This is also the origin of “blue material” for stage performers. And there is really no way to confirm this one.

      The color blue has been associated with salacious material dating back a long, long time. That it would be applied to movies is just a natural progression.

  • Princess Poopypants

    Being in the Scientology bubble (no media, no internet, no TV, no phones, etc), especially at CC Int, would backfire pretty regularly.
    We had one girl, beautiful redhead, really sweet person, on services at CC for a year or more, getting daily sessions…. she was reported to have been in porn movies. Nothing wrong with it, I suppose, but in Scn, it is a no-no. She was sent to ethics for it and told to find another profession. I can’t even remember how it came up that she was. She never mentioned it, she just said she was in films, and she paid for services, so I guess it just never came up.
    Maybe another public Scientologist turned her in because they recognized her.
    True story.

    • Missionary Kid

      Here’s the inevitable question. Did she find another profession?

      • Princess Poopypants

        She appears to be an actress and film producer for horror films.

    • flyonthewall

      and do you know her stage name?

      • Princess Poopypants

        I found her.

        • flyonthewall

          nu-uh! Share plz

          • Princess Poopypants

            I can’t find anything indicating she ever did any porn. She seems to be an actress and producer. I have not a clue why she was sent to ethics for being in porn films. Once I found her online, I knew it was her.
            Maybe she did a nude scene in a movie or something.
            Sorry guys, killed it.

            • flyonthewall

              ๐Ÿ™ Thnx for checking!

            • PeaceMaker

              Or maybe she was in porn, under the table and under another name. Today’s story shows just how it’s possible to pretty thoroughly hide such work.

            • Princess Poopypants

              Yes, it is possible, but I am not searching it!

            • PeaceMaker

              Sunny, thanks for what you did – and, I wouldn’t expect you to do any more. I was actually surprised reading the story, that even journalists with the sort of information and resources one might expect that they would have access to, would have difficulty conclusively connecting someone with an alias.
              Also, I know that IMDB, as much as I appreciate it, can be less than reliable for older and lesser known industry figures – I ran across one case in which someone actually had two IMDB entries under slightly different names. I get the impression that a lot of actors did more like limited distribution soft core or fetish work to make ends meet when they were starting out, and successfully hid it – only when they later became famous, and other people involved outed them, were they finally “credited,” as happened to Cameron Diaz.

    • Graham

      Hey I recognise her. She’s a porn star!
      And how would you know that?
      Oh sh*t.
      Sh*t indeed my friend. Straight to ethics for you. Watching porn. You disgust me.

      • Sine qua non

        … TIme for hours and hours of sex checks for her … I mean, “Sec checks.” This Bunker installment is making even my autocorrect slip Freudian! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜

    • machiabelly

      Being in the Scientology bubble (no media, no internet, no TV, no phones, etc), especially at CC Int, would backfire pretty regularly.

      It’s cuckoo! Those blinders still seem to be in place since podcasters Ross and Carrie were able to hang around and take courses for several weeks before anyone twigged to them.

      Forget KSW, the real truism should be Scientology Never Learns.

      • Harpoona Frittata

        So true! $cientology is its own “held down 7”.

        The immutable and supra-divine Word of Elron was intended by the Flounder to remain so for all of eternity, but just like the “Thousand Year Reich” of Hitler’s nightmare fantasy come to life, $cn is never going to go the distance. In fact, the cult sowed the seeds of its own destruction many years ago and is just now experiencing the kind of massive blowback that it so completely deserves. No amount of happy talk PR is ever going to alter the cult’s long history of serious crimes and massive human/civil rights abuses.

        Concentrating its dwindling ranks of aging celebs and not-yet-bankrupted whales in Cult City, Florida is yet another objective sign of the cult’s contraction and reflexive urge to bunker down with fellow Thetanists somewhere warm and friendly, where everyone they come into contact with keeps the illusion alive and their shrinking Bubble World from being popped.

        I’ll buy tickets to the cult’s Last Rodeo because, as evil as these clowns are, it’s both cathartic and hilarious to watch them do themselves in ๐Ÿ˜‰ I only hope that we can hasten its downfall, so that those who are still trapped inside it will suffer less long.

    • Auditor: “Do you find the room too hot, or too cold?”

      PC: “Yes, a bit too hot.”

      Auditor: “You can take off your sweater if you like.”

      PC: “Oh, okay.”

      Auditor: “Uhm,, what are you doing? I said just your sweater,,, Oh wait, now I recognize you!”

      • Newiga

        LOL

    • Noesis

      Similar events occurred at FLAG, including one (apparently) former stripper who was then dating a high-roller celeb who was paying for her services (at the Org, not IRL.)

      The primary decision point on whether or not to allow the person to continue on lines seemed to be – is there a potential for future large donations?

      If so, no problem. Just keep the other stuff quiet.

  • Chee Chalker

    Somewhere Vikki Lizzi is on the phone trying to reach Marc Shaffel…..

  • Kim O’Brien

    jesus christ …people are freaks .

    • machiabelly

      Sez you in the flight suit with flamethrower.

      • Kim O’Brien

        that is my wedding photo…and i look amazing ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Fantastic! On the surface, a story that combines MJ, Scientology, JT, Baressi, porn, the music industry and Hollywood seems bizarre. But nothing could be further from the truth. The degree of separation between porn, music, movies, prostitution, drugs, organized crime and the meaner streets of Tinseltown is measured in fractions and has been since the ’20s. So, while making the connections between these industries and people is relatively easy, what’s hard is chronicling the kind of stories that Tony and Ebner put together, where the dots are connected, links are verified and the players talk about their roles.
    For a naive, young, gayling in the late’70s, driving from suburban San Diego to Hollywood to go to the huge, underage disco, Odyssey seemed like the peak of glamor and cool. From the age of 18 until I turned 21, that was a regular weekend pilgrimage. Throw in the occasional seedy L.A. warehouse punk clubs (never let it be said that my taste in entertainment wasn’t eclectic) and that gave me a primer into the underside of L.A. at a young age. And though I was mostly on the periphery of these worlds (I thank my disinterest in hard drugs for this) all I can say is that Boogie Nights was pretty much a documentary.
    A great story from the land of broken dreams.

    • flyonthewall

      Wonderland was another good one. Don’t know how accurate it was though

  • Supper Powers

    In Other Cult News: John Cedars talks to Steve Hassan about the probable ban of JWs in Russia. And naturally, Scientology is referenced a few times.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=t1xctdSindo

    • The Russians, doing the right thing in the wrong way for wrong reasons.

      • Philbyification

        Like not putting LHO in a Gulag in Siberia in ’61…? Like that? lol I wonder Who will get “the last Marina interview”? Good Ol’Pinhead via his Old D.C. Inside Edition contacts in Palm Beach? ffs If I was Brian Williams, there would be Bigger Lies I’d be pointing out about Bilge O’smugly! (his jfk book was garbage) …HuckTwoowy!

  • Rasha

    In keeping with the spirit of covert commenting in the Bunker at work, Happy National Garlic Day! ^_^

    • Supper Powers

      You have a fighting spirit, Rasha. It’s one of the reasons I like you so much!

      • Rasha

        #^_^#

    • Ann B Watson

      I Love Garlic, thank you Rasha.โค๏ธ

      • Rasha

        Garlic, scallions — bring ’em on!!!

        • Ann B Watson

          Yummy! scallions too, now I’m homesick for North End Italian in Beantown!! Have not been back in years. Haunted the great market with all the fresh produce in the North End, I believe it was moved from that original spot. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜

          • Rasha

            The best garlic I ever had was in China. A little bit hotter, a little painful, but so flavorful…. I should check at Kan Man or Super 88 next time I’m in town.

            • Ann B Watson

              Thank you Rasha. Have to track that garlic down although I must say Baton Rouge has me hooked on peppers as well.I love a little salad of red,orange and yellow peppers with a greek yogurt dressing and red onions. ๐Ÿฅ—โค๏ธ

            • Rasha

              That sounds sooooooo goood…. ^_^

            • Ann B Watson

              It really is. I still eat eggs and cheeses but a month ago gave up my beloved bacon etc for vegetarian. So scouting out good recipes. At my age with cancers and the fact I adore animals it was time, but I can still dine with those who eat meat, I just stopped. โค๏ธ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’œ

            • Rasha

              There are so many amazing ingredients out there. Also, and most importantly, that is cool very to do your thing and let others do theirs.

              *respect*

              (hint: put things together that people say not to. Much wow.)

            • Ann B Watson

              I love you Rasha, I always want to give love, laughter, light and respect after what I went through in The Sea Org. I thought I had found my way, I thought Old Ron had the key, it has taken me 40+ years to realize he was the guard and I was the prisoner. XO ๐Ÿ’›

            • Rasha

              Anneh, I have no idea what it was like, or what it looks like from this side, or what it took out of you, but you make me smile, and I’m so glad you’re here. You have my nailgun, and I have your back.

              …and shnuggles. Of course. ^_^

            • Ann B Watson

              Just the post aI needed. I will keep that nail gun close and you having my back, just so Good. It took so much out of me, but you help put it all back. Hugs my dear friend. ๐ŸŒน

            • Rasha

              We’re all good here. As long as Tony’s not looking, we can jump on the sofa and we have the biggest ball pit EVAR!

              Very hugs. Much smile. ^_^

            • Ann B Watson

              I am so There! ๐Ÿ˜˜

    • Jeb Burton

      I hope tomorrow is National Mint Day.

      • Rasha

        I find garlic comforting. Yes. I am odd that way.

        • Syd

          Oh, me too. Most of the comfort foods that I love have garlic in them. The first summer at our new house, my husband and I figured out that the tall plants at the side of our house were garlic plants. We googled when to pull them and also found out that you can eat the scapes at the top of the plant. They are sooooo good sauteed in butter and put on a nice grilled steak. ahhhhhhhhhhhh

          • Rasha

            oooooooooooo. <3

          • Ann B Watson

            Now I am really looking forward to trying your recipie. Am I the only one that eats radishes with a bit of butter?! Good to meet you Syd. ๐Ÿ’›

            • Syd

              So nice to meet you Ann! I’ve never tried radishes with butter but it sounds delicious!

      • Ann B Watson

        ๐Ÿ˜ do not worry Joe I am the Listerine Queen after garlic.๐Ÿ˜

    • Missionary Kid

      When I was a kid, I used to nibble on garlic until it got too hot, then I’d sip some milk so I could eat more. One of my favorite dishes is shrimp scampi. The more garlic, the better.

      Happy garlic day!

      • Rasha

        ^_^

  • Noesis

    “…Xxxxxxx spent weeks in increasingly heated conversations with an attorney who worked for Yyyyy Yyyyy (Zzzzzz’s company, not Wwwwww’s’) who questioned the validity of Xxxxxx’s contract, argued over what he was really owed and told him heโ€™d get nothing if he didnโ€™t ask for substantially less, Xxxxxx says.

    The above quote from Tony’s article (with the original names redacted) would easily fit into a storyline from anyone who has ever been involved in the sleazy dealings of a fairly significant sampling of folks that worked in the Hollywood music business, the old Burbank porn industry, the lawyers for all of them and the minions that traffic between legitimate, semi-legitimate and nearly criminal business endeavors that involved each of the above.

    Decades ago I crossed business paths with a few of these types of characters and was left with very, very creepy feelings. Much like Scientology, there are entire industries that manufacture fake personas and fake causes, all of which hide some very nefarious behaviors. Ick.

  • Lousy Ratatouille

    Don’t forget to stay 11 feet from your screen. Don’t look!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ge2_dceMrU

  • Supper Powers

    Let’s start a rumor that Tony is in Clearwater today through Friday covering the City Council vote. We can freak the church out again. It amuses me.

    • gtsix

      Why do you call this a rumor? He tweeted he was leaving for Clearwater last night.

      • Supper Powers

        He’s prolly at lunch with several City Council members answering all the burning questions they have about OSA, private investigators, their lawyers and David Miscavige, including his height. I bet TO is drinking a Patron margarita and everyone is roaring with laughter.

        • Harpoona Frittata

          Seriously, if $cn won’t speak for itself in answering the many questions and concerns that concerned Floridians have, then Tony and other knowledgeable individuals who can are definitely going to report on that story. In this day and age of easy access to multiple media outlets, you can bet your last BT that when an organization as large and wealthy as the Unreformed Thetanist Cherch goes dark, it’s because they’ve got a whole lot to hide.

          Hope springs infernal for these fugitives from a bad sci-fi story, though, and the SuMP is just the “next big thing” that’s supposedly going to magically save the cult from extinction. Go on hoping there, you silly $cilons, the new XenuVision channel is only going to work to supply us with a thetariffic super-abundance of prime J&D material ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Supper Powers

            I certainly hope that the City Council has consulted Rinder, Bunker and Smith-Levin. They would be remiss not to.

    • Jeb Burton

      The guru leader of the ASC? That’s all we need. Another cult leader in town. What’s next, the Moonies?

  • Lousy Ratatouille

    This is part of a concert that aired on September 21, 2001 to honor the 9/11 victims, as I understand it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ylxw-nG5VWI&list=LLalFrFxLOarw4pLrdxPdCkg&index=2

  • Newiga

    Aaron’s explanation of using the word wog in Scientology made me think of the song I’m Blue by Eiffel 65 for some reason.

    Yo listen up here’s a story
    About a little wog that lives in a wog world
    And all day and all night and everything he sees is just wog
    Like him inside and outside
    Wog his house with a wog little window
    And a wog corvette
    And everything is wog for him
    And himself and everybody around
    ‘Cause he ain’t got nobody to listen
    I’m wog da ba dee da ba daa…

    O/T: Funny story. When I was a kid, I misheard the lyrics as “I’m blue, I will bleed, I will die, I will bleed, I will die…”

  • Harpoona Frittata

    “…the Enquirer, after Barresi recanted, tried to destroy every copy of
    that 1990 issue, and it became very difficult to locate a copy.”

    Hmmm, how strange…sounds very much like what the cult did in trying to “put Xenu back in his electronic mountain prison” by trying to suppress the public release of the wall o’ fire $cn materials!

    The prospect of getting sued by JT alone may not have been enough to keep the gay sex story from being published by The Enquirer, but if $cn let it be known that the cherch would throw down in support of their not-gay celeb parishioner, then that may very well have put the fear of Xenu in them, based on the cult’s proven history of spending huge sums just to cost their enemies big time, irregardless of the likely outcome of those cases.

    To me, the real newsworthy story is not the fact that JT enjoys sucking dick, but the cherch’s probable involvement in this case and in other instances where it has come to the aid of other celebs and big-money whales in a concerted effort to use its considerable resources to suppress, threaten, harass and counter-attack anyone who’s made criminal allegations against them or attempted to sue them, irregardless of the truth concerning those matters. .

    It’s the conspiracy to cover up, and the tactics used to implement it, that should be in foreground here because the cult engages in exactly the same kind of subversion of justice, witness tampering and persecution of victims in every single different situation that you might care to name. The Masterson rape scandal is an excellent case in point, but the cherch has been involved in just so many more nefarious dealings as well, such as helping the Duggans to exile their own misbehaving child to a distant country and place him in the hands of $cn caretakers.

    I’m completely uninterested in the fact that JT pursues men into health club showers for the purpose of obtaining gay sex. Let the dude come out as gay if and when he pleases, but if the cherch is involved in perpetrating more of its infamous dirty tricks and “fair game” tactics in colluding in cover ups, suppressing the truth and targeting victims, then make that the foreground story. The much wider, deeper and more newsworthy story here is that the cherch’s malign and furtive actions in this case represent just one example of the consistent pattern of evil behavior they’ve engaged in many other instances in the past.

    • Ann B Watson

      ๐Ÿ–ค . ๐Ÿ’› You.

  • Supper Powers

    Paging J3 and Daisy Mae. I need some J&D.

    • Sherbet

      I need a shower. I liked Michael Jackson with his original face, his clever videos, and his Thriller dance moves. He ended his life as sleazy, skeevy Michael.

      • Supper Powers

        Concur.

        • Sherbet

          The thing about porn or gay porn or Travolta’s trysts — a consenting adult’s choice of mattress trampoline partners doesn’t mean anything. It’s the sneaking around and pretense that cause the damage. Who can explain attraction or orientation? Why does anyone need to explain it? It’s life. It’s being human. It’s not a big deal.

          • abdaman

            He does more than sneak around he assaults people who aint interested!

    • Rasha

      ^^^^^_^

  • GrangerFX

    I have only ever had one true Hollywood experience. I was invited to the premier of Mission Impossible II by (someone famous whose name I will not drop) due to the use of my software in the film (one of the first times camera projection mapping was used in a movie). It took place in Westwood at the one of the big theaters. As we walked up to the theater, there was a red carpet and on both sides were bleachers setup full of yelling “fans” (really a promotion done by a local radio station). We ended up sitting directly behind John Lithgow. I had his shiny dome to look at for the whole film. Many other famous actors were there in addition to entire cast. Steven Seagal made a big appearance wearing an oriental robe and bowing to the audience with tented hands.

    After the film was over, the audience exited the theater and walked a couple of blocks to a parking lot that held the reception area. We followed Ving Rhames who strangely plays a computer hacker in the films (a great actor but miscast in the MI series). He was laughing and having a great time with his entourage.

    At the entrance to the reception there was another red carpet at the entrance that ran along the side of the enclosed area with food tents, open bars and outdoor seating. There on the red carpet, they had a media area where Tom Cruise himself was doing interviews with the people entering as a backdrop. I briefly entertained the notion of calling a girl that worked at my company who was a complete rabid fan of TC’s and seeing if I could get him to say hello to her but he looked busy. In retrospect it was an awful idea that would not have gone well at all and I am very glad I did not try it.

    Apple had sponsored the MI 2 reception. I was a Mac developer and we knew many people inside Apple at the time. It was a sort of love hate relationship since full fledged movie production did not fit with their desire to promote multi-media production or some nonsense like that. When their senior marketing VP spotted us at “their” party, he was not pleased at all. Ironic. They wanted to have Macs shown in the film and use it for promotion but did not want to say that Macs had been used to actually make the film itself. I remember him looking daggers at us.

    Anyway the reason I write all this is that it was a true Hollywood experience because there were people having sex in the bathrooms. Lots of young starlets there. Lots of hot shot producers, directors and actors. Lots of drugs and alcohol. Nature takes its course. My point is that in Hollywood this kind of behavior is normal. It is not shocking or surprising or out of the ordinary. It is like wallpaper. It’s everywhere and people just roll with it. When I read tabloid pieces like the above, I realize that it is the job of a Hollywood reporter to see the industry through the eyes of a housewife in Topeka. It is their job to knock down the facade created around the famous actors by their publicity agents. Shock is the name of the game but in that town there is very little that is shocking to anyone.

    • Missionary Kid

      I’m not a big fan of sock-em movies, but Steven Segal is one person that I particularly abhor because of his attitude towards women and, particularly, his treatment of Kelly Le Brock.

      I happen to like John Lithgow, and I hope his bald pate wasn’t too much of a distraction, although, because of his height, it could well have gotten in your way.

      • Science Doc

        When I saw Sir Ian McKellan perform King Lear, Lithgow, who also gave a noted performance in that role, was a few rows in front of me, and yes he is tall. I ran into him at the wine bar at intermission. I looked at him and smiled and he winked back. I didn’t blow his cover or ruin his vibe.

      • April

        Lithgow is funny as hell. Loved him on 3rd Rock from the Sun. And omg he was freaking awesome as a villain on season 4 of Dexter. Dudes got serious acting chops.

  • Lousy Ratatouille

    A nightmare:
    The reg is in a reg cycle with me, but he’s out of coffee and milk, never mind sugar. It’s getting later and later and the reg doesn’t even allow me to call my mother.
    “If you want my money for my next sec check”.
    Oh no, I turned out to misunderstand that line. It’s the alarm clock that wakes me up.
    It should be “If you want my body and you think I’m sexy ….. ”
    Well, at least it’s not porn, it’s not about gays, it’s about a he and a she:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZsnZFEv-5E&index=10&list=LLalFrFxLOarw4pLrdxPdCkg

  • Lousy Ratatouille
    • April

      mmmmmm chicken souuuuup
      Although I should add, that can of soup doesn’t look very appetizing!

  • Panopea Abrupta

    Our random tour of the magnificent world of $cientology Missions continues.
    So far in this series, we have had a CPA’s office and a chiro’s office doubling as Missions.
    Let’s look to that other mainstay of WISE – a cosmetic dentist.
    And I thought Margarita Road sounded so California.
    The Mission of Temecula

    The dentist/mission holder, first

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/87752b4773a5d2068d5b71b8088be82d336cb0810e04fd386ad070c5988179a7.jpg

    Lovely smile.
    He’ll glue on some veneers for you.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c1dd4a605f2e5d77d3506699601e2513696f5a80a5d1f9580d001c914df017dd.jpg

    Beautiful daughter Daina (she works as appointments manager at the dentist’s office too.)
    She is one of 4, all beautiful, all with names that begin with D.
    As does Dave’s wife, Debbie.

    What does the Google say?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f99e87f73341fa1747e80f66acc30f4befe66f14ddc864cb9c1522f2a3660adc.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9dc508b271f3c298a23c75e6981e328e2a59ee88b724549d9b5b364647977573.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/244b4dd473dc810aff137bc210a520cacf8fe1b4a8174c718a32f2aadbb804b9.jpg

    Oh, dear …

    So, $cientology?
    Heeere’s Dave.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bb3e65d37abccf8af519ae0b5a2ed297915802fe80b6e0fe1abdb1ec0f272c85.jpg

    And again ..

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ad9e353e8daa7ac7f20792be89b5e5463622f618d797050e4f02980748f4ca74.jpg

    And here’s Daina (the family that preys together)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a9075dcd52804093925f28017b332b56628ee0cdf9650aa5a432f38a8c2ffd9c.jpg

    • Panopea Abrupta
      • Science Doc

        I know that road quite well. Temecula is not fertile ground for the cult. Sounds like it looks like a dentists office except maybe for a back room? In other words if I were to pop in to pick up a brochure, I might not see much Clam stuff? Or maybe I would?

      • WhiteCentauress

        I’m truly enjoying your research.

      • Missionary Kid

        Thanks, your research went far beyond mine. I only had the address and saw a picture of the building on Google Earth.

      • Harpoona Frittata

        Let me suggest some appropriate theme music for our continuing tour of $cn’s vanishing missions…take it away, Freddie! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY0WxgSXdEE

    • April

      From one of the reviews: “… if you pay up front, he won’t return your money on services he has yet to do…”
      Sounds like he’s adopted the CO$ refund policy to me!

      Also, why aren’t these people complaining to the state licensing board if he’s doing shoddy work and bilking customers?!?! These are surely problems that would get him in a lot of hot water, perhaps lose his license.

      • WhiteCentauress

        That’s assuming he has a license. Plus who goes to a dentist named “Cutts”?

        • Science Doc

          What if his first name was Richard…

        • GrangerFX

          Mine is named Gue but he does a good job.

        • April

          I can’t imagine any state in the US allowing people to perform dentistry without a license! He has DDS after his name so I’m assuming it’s legit and he’s licensed.

          I lived in a city once where there was a denist named Dr. Payne.

          • WhiteCentauress

            I’ve just learned to doubt any certificate or higher degree attached to a Scientologist, and that’s from a six months study only.

            • April

              For the sake of argument, I checked and he is indeed licensed in the state of CA as a dentist.
              http://www.hipaaspace.com/Medical_Billing/Coding/NPI/Codes/NPI_1801097829.aspx

            • WhiteCentauress

              Does it say from where? I had a doctor once who got his degree in some obscure Caribbean college. I changed doctors. Thanks for checking. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘

            • April

              Doesn’t matter where he got his degree as far as the point I was making, which was he could potentially lose his license if those patients reported his behavior to the licensing board.

            • WhiteCentauress

              Yes. You are totally right. Makes me wonder if Scientology lawyers backed him up.

    • Science Doc

      The Temecula Mission has a moribund Facebook page with seven likes.

    • ReallyMGM

      I call these places “Scientology in a Box.” Member buys box of Dianetics books, WTH booklets and other assorted crap to hand out…Voila! Scientology Mission! Members not needed.

  • abdaman
    • Harpoona Frittata

      Who knew that the hetero-studly JT had an identical twin who’s gay!!?

  • Supper Powers

    So what’s the problem if the Church owns another 1.4 acres in downtown and the aquarium gets a wad of cash for it? Is Clearwater really trying to turn the city around? I kind of doubt it despite their “studies”. Brick and mortar is a fading part of the economy anyway. Restaurants are a dime a dozen. Apartments for wogs? Who would want to live there? I think the aquarium should take the money and run. The church is going to collapse someday anyway and then Clearwater can go back to the drawing board.

    • Science Doc

      I agree with you except I like to see COB lose.

      • Jimmy3

        Losing isn’t enough for me. I want to see him have an all out tantrum about it. On the ground, flailing his tiny limbs around. Shouting and cursing in acronyms. Just full-blown tantie davey.

        • Science Doc

          Type 3 PTS to reality.

        • abdaman

          It’s so exciting! I can’t wait. LOL

        • April

          I’d be satisfied seeing him in an orange jumpsuit. Before a judge.

        • KingofSweden

          tiny baby tantrum…like that little b*tch Caillou*… lol!!

          *the parentally loathed kids’ show

    • flyonthewall

      You need brick and mortar stores in a tourist town. People want to stroll and shop, they’re not going to be shopping for souvenirs on amazon while they’re at the beach on vacation. If you’re trying to build tourism, restaurants better be a dime a dozen so that everyone can be accommodated. Who wouldn’t want to live by a pristine beach like CW that’s not overcrowded? They’re going to collapse someday anyway? Not if you just roll over and give them anything they want

      • Supper Powers

        Stop being logical.

        • flyonthewall

          and put some clothes on!

          • Supper Powers
            • Missionary Kid

              David Niven quote, [during an Academy Award presentation. responding to the unexpected entrance of a streaker] Isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?

    • abdaman

      I think the issue is that the church is offering the money only as a package deal where they get to personally choose vendors that they are going to bring into downtown. Because the reason downtown is already dead is because of all the scientology owned properties there that nobody wants to get close to. So it’s not in the best interest of the town if they want to actually revitalize the area

    • Jeb Burton

      Yeah. Just give up and turn the city over to DM. The Capital theater still hosts lots of great shows and Coachman park still has alot of great concerts and events. We aren’t totally dead down there.

  • Tony Ortega

    Now, this was one of their OWN former members, but you watch, they’ll find a way to blame Leah. Or us.

    http://m.startribune.com/former-church-of-scientology-attendee-allegedly-set-books-ablaze/419851783/?section=local

    • flyonthewall

      Seems like the OCA test and reg should of picked up on the guy being a loon and probably an illegal PC. That’s a fail right there. Somebody needs to be put on the decks for this flub.

      eta – or would this be a flap? I think it’s flap. Stupid bs fake language

    • Jimmy3

      I blame you. I blame you every day. You were never there for me growing up. Didn’t teach me to fish or ride a bike. Never picked me up from school to buy me ice cream. I don’t think you came to a single one of my baseball games. Shame.

      • flyonthewall

        Can you blame him? We all saw the pic of you as a youngin’. Fugly.

    • Although still at large I would imagine that the church has images of him from 47 different camera angles via their security system.

      • Science Doc

        Plus they know his credit card numbers and favorite kinds of porn.

      • flyonthewall

        if he was a psychic midget he would be a small medium at large

        • Rasha

          *bows*

      • They are probably fake like the rest

    • abdaman

      The church’s actual attempt to smear this guy: “He had previously taken a wheelchair that did not belonged to him and “was rolling around the building,” Oh the horror!

      • Science Doc

        I’ve done that in hospitals before.

        • April

          Who hasn’t? Seriously.

      • flyonthewall

        if that was your wheelchair that you kept at the org and he was playing with it you’d prob be pretty pissed.

    • Jimmy3

      Wow! LRH’s books are truly burning up the shelves!

      • flyonthewall

        they’re a very hot commodity

        • Jimmy3

          Selling like hot baked goods.

          • flyonthewall

            Maybe he thought there should be a fire sale to help boom the stats?

            • Jimmy3

              I don’t want to play anymore. I’m burned out on pun game.

            • flyonthewall

              That’s ok, I’m use to playing with myself

    • Observer

      Scientology seems to nurse a lot of vipers in its bosom. It’s almost like Scientology doesn’t enhance any abilities at all.

      • Jimmy3

        Wait is that a metaphor, or is that actually some wacky theta ritual they do?

        • Observer

          With Scientology it’s anyone’s guess.

      • Science Doc

        Don’t remind me I need to get the vipers out of the yard.

      • LeeAnneClark

        I’m just surprised there was anybody in the building! That’s a pretty rare occurrence, no?

    • gtsix

      Ahhh the old Strib. Not as good as the PiPress, but nothing out of Minneapolis can beat ole Saint Paul.

      Stupid org should have stayed in Minneapolis where it belonged, and not clutter up my old neighborhood (that I haven’t been to in … one or more decades).

    • Rasha

      Rasha hates the web filter here at work, except that I can get to the Bunker. I do love that part, but GAHH!!!

        • Rasha

          Blocked right away. I hope they don’t sort their “Naughty Browsers” list by name here…..

          • hmm.. interesting! Better not try to go around this filter or someone from support will come and ask wth you are trying ๐Ÿ™‚ I did that once ha ha
            but anyway you can pick up the link later.

        • PeaceMaker

          Most places with any sort of filtering, are also going to block the common web proxies. I also wouldn’t recommend using one in a workplace, because even if it does work for a while, it may eventually show up in security logs that get scrutinized, resulting in questions about why someone is evading the security system – which in some organizations, is a termination offense in itself.
          A smartphone that works as an internet hotspot, can be used temporarily so that a tablet or laptop can browse sites prohibited on the wireless network. I use that a fair bit for a variety of reasons, including at places like some airports where open wireless networks have a time limit.

      • PeaceMaker

        Rasha, was it you who I provided instructions for working around blocking of the link launcher the Disqus uses, by picking the article title out of the URL? It worked for me with this article, too. Let me know if I should post it again.

        • Rasha

          Yes, but it’s a content filter, so pages with any scripts that reference certain ads, keywords or actions, or are on certain domains, are simply blocked. Which I can understand at a corporation, it’s just funny what they block and what they allow.

    • sizzle8

      Sounds like he took The Wall of Fire literally.

    • GrangerFX

      Where there is smoke, there is fundraising. I am sure there will now be an outpouring of donations to fix their fire damage 43x!

      • WhiteCentauress

        Kind of like the “bomb threat”. Wonder what happened there…..wait….nothing.

    • Jeb Burton

      Arsonist.

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      The fire was quickly extinguished. It’s unclear how much damage the fire caused, Linders said.

      If it had burned up every book in the place there would have been no damage.

      Good thing the place was empty when it happened. Good thing the place is empty all the time…

    • downtherabbithole

      Well now this is close to home. Will have to be sure to watch our local news tonight.

    • April

      Setting fire to an occupied building is going to get him some serious prison time, I’m afraid.

    • Kestrel

      He’ll be getting “Where have you been?” letters in a few years. Outflow, and all that.

    • chukicita

      Wow. The article says the church claims they removed him for his behavior after he had been attending for a few months.

      A real church would get him some help.

    • Princess Poopypants

      Coming from an organization that would send itself bomb threats just to try to get rid of a pesky reporter!

      • Philbyification

        PI’s with Silencers and Boatload of License plates harassing Decent Folks’ Ex’s, In-laws and a Funny Lady’s E-mails!? May the Bird of Paradise fly up Their Mendacious Burning Bums! I hope “everyone” has informed their local LE/Judicial Officers and friends of their criminal tactics and history! People are more interested today than they ever were…..”If he dies, he dies” D.M. ffs!

    • dchoiceisalwaysrs

      time to start the shredding machine up to get rid of any evidence which might show the truth…the actual truth instead of manufactured acceptable truth which is what OSA gets involved in.

  • joan nieman

    Very interesting read regarding the old columns from the archives. I have just finished listening to Aarons video and yes, it did make me chuckle. I love the Kim O’Brien picture too. Don’t even think about messing with this gal!

  • Gay beefcake artist Tom of Finland often used porn-valley pinup-photos as the basis for his naughty drawings. As a prime example of a 1970s “Drummer Daddy” type, it’s no surprise to find Paul Barresi lookalikes in Tom’s workโ€”amongst others… (Remember leather motorcycle-caps are meant as off-bike wear):

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c566c3cebe4997721e849d5f9671193cbe7d099e0771820deb3c41bf9cd1a1a5.jpg

    • flyonthewall

      *snort*

    • Newiga

      A famous Finnish director made a movie about Tom of Finland. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5226984/

    • Missionary Kid

      That looks like it’s Revolta he’s carrying.

      • Jimmy3

        It’s as if someone took one image and edited it somehow to look like John Travolta’s face. But who would do something like that? That’s lying.

      • I’ve had that pencil-portrait of Jawn lying idle in my scrap file for ages. Today, serendipity ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • GrangerFX

      “This one’s too small. I have to throw him back.”

      • Snortle! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • machiabelly

      Oh, my. Tom certainly likes large … nipples.

  • machiabelly

    I’m still a little steamed about Rogan’s interview with Ron Sr. yesterday. Joe opened by reading yet another “this person is a stinky poo” kindergarten letter from Scientology. Dear broadcasters: stop it! There’s no need to give Scientology one second of airtime when they refuse to directly address any of the accusations.

    If the legal department felt it was absolutely necessary, Joe could have said something like, “Scientology claims your book is a lie written out of a malice. How do you respond?”

    • Harpoona Frittata

      Or he could have just done what 60 Minutes and almost any other similar group does, which is to mention that the group or individual being reported on was given the chance to respond, but chose not to. That’s really all you need to do.

      • Ann B Watson

        Brilliant you are! ๐Ÿ’›

  • Panopea Abrupta

    Anchorage, Alaska; Boise, Idaho; Redmond, Washington;
    Lake Oswego, Oregon; Temecula, CA; Alamosa, Colorado,

    All closed or decrepit or hiding.
    Go on, it MUST be booming somewhere.
    Oh, if you insist

    Let’s try Santa Monica, close to the vital throbbing centre of this Planetary Clearing.
    First, a little history, courtesy of Mike Rinder’s comment section –

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9ca1692ae8e3aee5fd996f3efcae29e1e7921a340ec9898349474716e4034176.jpg

    But a celebrity-studded opening in 2006 changed all that, surely?
    Quite.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fd60e49fd362e9e8cfaf515b0422a74b01017f1b37119e8e2fbd0f8ccedfe859.jpg

    It WAS full on opening night, mind you.
    But, but, there it is, on @PickAnotherID’s list, yesterday, pulled from the IRS.
    A new address.
    Not that far away, really.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fc6410dacf3b0f1d825b6674bc36d8390698950ecf3e513531fe197f70d29187.jpg

    At this private house

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9ec9c22eaf63b04f9a5d9f635b08a59a9dd0596888bb780d97ab92e34562ac0a.jpg

    Davey, Davey, Davey, I am beginning to doubt you, wee mon.

    VWD,

    ML,

    PA

    • Harpoona Frittata

      I’m very familiar with Magnolia ave in Fair Oaks, which is part of the greater Sacramento region. It’s a quiet, residential street with large lot and small acreage parcels…lots of chickens, but no businesses. The perfect spot for $cn to go and die ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Missionary Kid

    OT. Bill “loofah” O’Reilly is officially out at Fox News. Of course, it’s all a part of a left-wing conspiracy. That’s aside from the incidents in which he degraded women for his own pleasure.

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      When it rains it pours!

    • Ann B Watson

      I love the left wing conspiracies! Gosh so many flying around hard to choose which one to ignore. Those reptile dwellers below ground have all the fun! Lol.Thank you MK.๐Ÿ˜

      • Missionary Kid

        You’re welcome, and I hope you’re doing well today.

        • Ann B Watson

          Yes I am well today. Very nice to say that. โค๏ธ

  • Douglas D. Douglas

    Just an OT drive by to say that it is OFFICIAL that Bill O’Reilly is OUT at Fox News. Didn’t see this here yet– but I may have missed it.

    And who is to say it does not bear repeating, anyway?

    As reported at the robust and healthy New York Times:
    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/19/business/media/bill-oreilly-fox-news-allegations.html

    • outraged

      Yes!!

      A true symbol of a racist pig gone from the air. Alright!!

      • Douglas D. Douglas

        WINNING!

      • April

        Don’t take this as a sign that the folks at Fox news are becoming better. The amount of advertising dollars O’Reilly’s show brings in has been tanking for some time now. Imho THAT is the real reason for his departure, not inappropriate behavior.

        • outraged

          Yes! This disgusting behavior was known about and most probably condoned. The whole place needs to be condemned.

    • Jack99

      Oh, really?

      • Missionary Kid

        No spin.

    • Missionary Kid

      I like how the Raw Story put it that he’d joined the “No job zone.”

    • Robert Eckert

      They’re replacing him with Fucker Carlson, not a step up in my opinion.

    • Todd Tomorrow

      Amen!

  • davegrille

    These Baroque intrigues are sometimes fun to recount .

  • My company was doin’ bidness w/ Jacko at the time of his death. It’s been 8yrs so I don’t think anyone will get in trouble for me telling this story:

    I have friends that were in production rehearsals at the time for what became the This Is It documentary. One of the “funny” memories I have of that period is (iirc) they were trying to figure out how to get a full-size actual dump truck to Europe quickly on the cheap. Apparently, it was part of the stage show for the tour that was about to start in a few weeks … and it had to be that specific one, so they couldn’t just rent one when they got to London.

    Anyway, I remember getting a call that morning and being told Jackson had died. It was a few hours later that the official announcement was made … I heard it on the radio as I was driving. The organization owed us some money, too. IIRC 2.0, literally everything they were using onstage went into huge storage facilities (unused airplane hangars) to get sorted. Luckily, yada yada, we are not owed any money.

    I was also told that Michael had a tremendous work ethic (being hopped up on goofballs helps) and was very nice to everyone that was working for him. Sound familiar?

    • Science Doc

      He had two poorly converted Rolls Royce limos. A specialty mechanic in downtown LA did the frequent work on them. A friend of mine collected and drove old Rolls and used the same mechanic. The garage was perpetually “seizing” MJ’s limos because that was the only way the bills ever got paid.

  • flyonthewall

    Deftones are the shit. Just throwin that out there

    • Supper Powers

      Well, stop it. You’re making a mess!

      • flyonthewall

        no

    • Jimmy3

      By my ranking, they are the fourth best “Tone”-related group or performer.

      5. Toni Braxton
      4. Deftones
      3. Mighty Mighty Boss Tones
      2. Tony Tone and the Flunky Bunch
      1. Tone Loc

      • Supper Powers

        I stage dived at a Bosstones show in Chicago.

        • Taffy Sinclair

          So did I!!! Too funny!!! I wanted to marry Dicky Barrett!!

          • Supper Powers

            Who didn’t?! God I was crushed out on him!

      • Tony! Toni! Tonรฉ!

        • April

          New Jack Swing for the win!

      • flyonthewall

        well that’s just like, your opinion man

        and Tony Tone whatever isn’t even a real band. I think you prob just made all this ranking stuff up too. You’re a bad person making things up

      • Douglas D. Douglas

        For me the #1 Tones are the Sparkletones. Singing Number One. (But make sure the dog is out of the room.)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcTWqTniHoA

        (And yes, their biggest hit was Black Slacks.)

    • Pezza

      I saw them with incubus.

    • Betty

      I am so old I was thinking the Delfhonics. “Stay in my Corner” Back in Jerry Blavet days. Anyone remember him?

      • flyonthewall

        I only know about them bc they were mentioned in the movie Jackie Brown but I dig it yeah

  • flyonthewall

    There was a kid in grade school who would tell everyone that Michael Jackson knocked on his door and asked to use the bathroom. No one believed him, obviously. Now I’m not so sure. Maybe he did? Who am I to say? *shrug*

    • JJ

      “OK OK so Michael Jackson didn’t knock on my door, to use the bathroom.” “But his sister did once!”

    • Sherbet

      I remember a parody on (maybe) “Not Necessarily the News” 30 something years ago. (This is all paraphrased. I can’t remember the exact dialog.)

      Michael Jackson comes up to someone’s door and knocks. The door opens, and the family inside is all excited “Look who’s at the door! OMG, it’s Michael Jackson!” fawning all over him, wanting autographs. Then “Jackson” produces a copy of “The Watchtower” and says,”I’d like to talk to you about Jesus,” and BAM, the door slams in his face.

      (Well, maybe you had to be there, but it was funny. Honest. Because Jackson was a “Witness.”)

      • flyonthewall

        Ha! That’s good. TBH, I didn’t even know he was JW

        • Sherbet

          Yup.

          • flyonthewall

            think he was expected to knock on doors like others? Something tells me no

            • Sherbet

              Maybe he sent Bubbles the Chimp up to the door for him.

            • flyonthewall

              I give Bubbles 3 doors to knock on before he’s being chased down the street by animal control

            • Philbyification

              Or tears occupant’s face off cuz He wanted a Ride @ Neverland instead, and MJ ate Chimp’s “goofballs” that Morning in his Rush to Spread the JWjive…..yikes

      • Rasha

        Oh! I remember Not Necessarily The News!

        • Sherbet

          There are a bunch of videos on YouTube.

      • Betty

        I remember that they told him to, ” Beat It”. He paused startled then started dancing to Beat It. It was funny.

        • Sherbet

          Ha! You have a better memory than I do, Betty. If I recall, they just showed him from the back in a glittery military jacket with a white glove.

  • Nobly

    TOT: This may have already been reported down thread, but there is a new article in the Mpls. Star Tribune, that a disgruntled “Ex Scientologist” set fire to the org.

    • it’s been posted. Not good!

      • chukicita

        Not good for Scientology. They told the reporter they had “removed him.” For his behavior.

        What church doesn’t try to get him help? Is there a police report about his taking some golf cart for a joyride? And if he threatened to hurt members, heck, that’s just Tuesday to COB!

        What church doesn’t recognize this human being’s obvious need for mental health care and see that he has access to it?

        No, they just turn this guy out back into the circling drain of Wogylon, don’t have to care if he hurts himself or someone else. Let the taxpayers deal with it. Not our job.

  • Speculations: Do you think Joe Rogan was threatened by Scientology?
    https://www.reddit.com/r/JoeRogan/comments/667qo9/do_you_think_joe_was_threatened_by_scientology/

  • nottrue
  • Todd Tomorrow

    Mark Ebner’s article on Phillip Gayle.
    http://gawker.com/5061091/death-of-a-nethead
    So sad…

  • beauty for ashes

    This is why you always invite Mark to a party. Great article today. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hope Y’all are well. ๐Ÿ™‚ <3 <3 <3 Beauty

    • flyonthewall
    • Todd Tomorrow

      You too sugar britches.

      • flyonthewall

        i don’t think girls like being called sugar bitches

        • beauty for ashes

          it depends…

          • flyonthewall

            you mean like dirty talk during sexual intercourse? Or just a casual compliment to a stranger? The former, ok I can see that. The latter, Idk, that might get you in trouble unless you get really lucky and say it to a lady with self esteem issues or something

            • beauty for ashes

              casual sarcastic sexual harassment between friends who like to make each other laugh.

      • beauty for ashes

        you too honey tits. **only because I know todd so well**

    • Jimmy3

      Yeah, about that… I would invite you more often but… and you know I’m okay with it… but your weird mouth-hand thing kinda creeps other people out. I’m sorry. You know I dig it. We’ll have our own party.

      • beauty for ashes

        I have a girl friend who always wears a monster hand wherever she goes. (this is true) You are such a pussy.
        Maybe Artoo or Todd would let you live with them in San Fran for a summer. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • Jimmy3

          I’ve been to San Fran many times, and I still don’t know which country it’s in.

          • beauty for ashes

            You got it all wrong, there’s countries inside of San Francisco.

            • Jimmy3

              Didn’t mean that in the negative. Just that it’s different from anything else in America. I first visited there as a very young child. I vividly remember seeing a large, black transvestite fixing her makeup in the reflection of a storefront window. In downtown. In a very touristy area. I couldn’t help but stare, because in Suburban Safety, OH, this simply isn’t a thing that happens. There would be teens mocking and harassing “the weirdo.” Probably a cop would show up to force her to move along. But in SF, people just walked past and gave a polite hello. It was fascinating.

            • beauty for ashes

              Thank you for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s what I meant too, and there’s also a Chinatown and a Japantown. etc etc. And depending where you go in that general area, geographically, it literally looks so different. I was absolutely fascinated by some of the things I saw as an adult that people just walked past and said a polite hello too. I had more experience in NYC where at least more people were rude and judgemental! I know that’s sort of vague, but I hope you get what I’m saying.

            • Philbyification

              IKR? The Farmer’s Market Patrons of the 70’s, next to CBS Studios, Burbank(?) was our fav. “People-Watching” venue as Midwestern kid! Little eyes on stalks! “Hey Dad LOOK!, that Old Lady’s Pink Poodle matches her Hair and Outfit”!!?? “Son, THAT is No Lady and it is Not Polite to Stare, now Come Along, chop chop”

        • Rasha

          n/

          • beauty for ashes

            is today the letter n??????? Hi RASHA!!!!!!!

            • Rasha

              BEAUTEH!!!!!

              (that’s the rockin’ head-banging devil horn thingy. I use “n”) -_^

            • beauty for ashes

              <3 there is a bunneh and crows outside, gonna go try to take some pics without scaring them! MWAH!!!!

            • Rasha

              GOGOGO!!!

  • chukicita

    Fox knew about Bill O’Reilly’s behavior towards women for 15 years. He was held accountable by good journalism + women-led activism โœŒ๏ธ
    3:12 PM ยท Apr 19, 2017

    ^^^This tweet above by EmmaGray played through my head this way: The world has known about DM’s behavior toward wogs for decades. He is being held accountable by good journalism + wog and ex activism.

    Tick to the tock. Tired of being an oppressed wog, the object of ignorant vilification by Big Bigoted Beings. Tired of my tax dollars supporting their scam.

    Sure, O’Rapey will have some turbulent days, but he will probably land on his feet in some cushy WH “job.” Not so many opportunities for uneducated former cult masters.

    • Jimmy3

      Pretty sure I’ve known about that for 15 years too. Everyone did. Just takes a while for people to get their comeuppance.

      • chukicita

        Sometimes I wish karma wouldn’t take so damn long.

        • gtsix

          Sometimes I wish there was a thing called karma.

          This was strictly capitalism. He was costing more than he was making for them, what with so many sponsors bailing.

          • flyonthewall

            don’t forget to give the free and active press their due. Without them bringing it to light, there would be no bailing sponsors

            • gtsix

              OK, full credit: The women came forward and had lawyers bring lawsuits. Then a combination of the activists activating and the reporters reporting caused the sponsors to unsponsor.

              And then the Murdock sons checked the bank accounts and said: enough.

          • chukicita

            I’m talking about DM.

            • gtsix

              That’s taking too damn long.

  • Intergalactic Walrus

    One of the supermarket tabloids (yeah, I know) says that Lisa Marie is sending her little twins to the CO$ Delphi summer camp in Oregon. If that’s true, she must have changed her attitude towards the CO$ since she helped Ron Miscavige. I wonder what happened.

    • gtsix

      If it’s true, her mother and daughter happened.

      • Intergalactic Walrus

        Wasn’t she supposed to have left with her whole family like Leah did?

        • gtsix

          Supposedly, but the rumor mills are that Riley Keogh never left, and Priscilla was easily swayed back.

          • Intergalactic Walrus

            So the only one against the CO$ now is the husband who all of a sudden is supposed to be a pervert? Well, that’s interesting, isn’t it?

            • gtsix

              It’s something ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • ReallyMGM

            I think Riley’s father is still in. Disconnection is a powerful threat. :((

      • Ann B Watson

        Hi my birthday Sis. Disgusting how the cult still operates .Her Mom and that “wonderful loving church”probably told her to disconnect from her twins if the tabloid is true. ๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’˜๐Ÿ’–

        • gtsix

          Hey sistah! Celeb rules, she wouldn’t have to. But if mom never left, and took custody of the twins during LMP’s medical issues this past year…. family is family.

          • Ann B Watson

            I hate Celeb Rules! Talk about duplicitous lying to keep the money flowing to dm. Help Sis just Horrible !!! Love U Always XXOO

    • Observer

      Seeing how often the tabs post hysterical stories about Cruise leaving Scientology, I’m going to assume this story is just as true as those.

      • Intergalactic Walrus

        I sure hope so.

    • Co$ summer camp.
      Horror show.

      • Todd Tomorrow

        You bet it is. One of the helpful directors would get the 13/14 year old girls drunk and have them pee on his car. He was all the way up and done with the bridge, too.

  • 420 is coming!

    • Why is this day different from all other days?

    • HTC

      About time

    • Liberated

      What’s the big deal about Hitler’s birthday ?

    • MrsShark

      I’ll have to celebrate in June in Denver!

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      Yep, and I hope that council meeting is flooded with wogs.
      (refresh)

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a7468c74ac2bd22dbbb37c6096c29d635baf634c2bcc14f817728d5e9957ac7d.png

      • Intergalactic Walrus

        It will also be streamed live here – http://clearwater.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=50

        • Robert Eckert

          Are we going to live-blog it?

          • Jimmy3

            I doubt it. This isn’t a political blog.

          • Intergalactic Walrus
            • chukicita

              Read the text of 17-14, the item just before the last.

            • Intergalactic Walrus

              “General Purpose and Objectives – The transparent creation of incentives and the
              principles that should be considered when making determinations; ”

              I’ve been watching video of Monday’s Council Work Session on the CMA purchase (Item 9.1) http://clearwater.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=8&clip_id=3232&meta_id=230239 It looks like a couple of the council members haven’t even read the resolution. Not a good sign.

              And they admit that the CO$ has changed the reason they need the land. First for a new hotel and then just a swimming pool. They can’t even figure out why they want it!

            • chukicita

              17-14 lays out not only transparency, but formalizes other procedures DM’s been trying to bypass.

          • We are.
            Depending on what we mean by “we”.

        • downtherabbithole

          Just read the agenda & it is the last item on the agenda

          • Intergalactic Walrus

            LOL- I posted the same thing ๐Ÿ™‚
            They know how to build the suspense don’t they?

            • downtherabbithole

              Missed that – working my way backwards trying to catch up on the day.

          • Jimmy3

            Makes sense. Get all the “my neighbors trees are overgrown” and “your dragon set my child on fire” stuff out of the way first.

          • chukicita

            Read the next to last item on the agenda. I don’t think the city is going to play.

          • Sine qua non

            Natch. They make you wait for the good stuff.

  • Shivani33

    When Debbie Rowe got engaged to Marc Schaffel, a problem came up, in that he was still married to another woman and had been for around 20 years. I guess that Marc forgot. Hey! It’s just a con man’s way of taking care of business.

  • Taffy Sinclair

    I’m super-pissed!!! Wolfgang Puck’s forgot my romanesco gratinee!! Take out? Take out my ass!!

    On a more positive note, my son wants to go to HowdyCon. And Wolfgang Puck refunded my dinner.

    • flyonthewall

      you’re going to bring your son? That’s going to make the sex orgies kinda awkward but ok

      • Rasha

        …you’re goin’???

        • flyonthewall

          Nope. You’re safe to go

          • Rasha

            Damn. I was gonna ask for a surrepticiously obtained “Potential Trouble Sauce” cup…..

            • flyonthewall

              what’s your excuse for not going? Scared? Ya chicken, huh???

            • Sherbet

              There is no transportation out of Massachusetts for the entire month of June. Nobody leaves. That’s the way it is. //shrugs//

            • flyonthewall

              *sigh* >insert I Don’t Believe You Anchorman meme here<

            • Rasha
            • flyonthewall

              that’s the one

            • Rasha

              That’s the ShhhhhBAP!!! right there.

            • Rasha

              *goes back to back with Sherb, crosses arms*

              Yep.

            • Sherbet

              Yes, it’s a…um…Massachusetts state law. Look, we can’t do anything about it, fly.

            • flyonthewall

              Mmm, mockery isn’t working. Maybe…MORE mockery will?? Yeah, that’s it

            • Sherbet

              You’re not even going to be there.

            • flyonthewall

              I.went.last.year! I went. Went to the book thing too. I did 2 things. That gives me license.

            • Sherbet

              I went to a book thing, so you’re up by only one point in this game.

            • flyonthewall

              I’m just joshin

            • Sherbet

              I know. But you are winning, not that I’m keeping count or anything. All I can say is, I wish I could have been at HowdyCon last year and again this year.

            • flyonthewall

              well I just hope your absence is not do to hardship or something bad like that. Want to know you’re ok

            • Sherbet

              Oh, no, no problems. Thank you for worrying about me, but I’m fine. The honest truth — it’s just out of my comfort zone. I’m pretty shy and awkward in real life. So I’ll keep yammering in the Bunker and keep up the illusion that I’m a laff riot.

              That sounded like a commercial for Abilify.

            • flyonthewall

              *nods* cool, I get it

            • Sherbet

              Now don’t expect me to get all sincere again, OK? It spoils my image.

            • Rasha

              …you ARE me!

            • Sherbet

              No, I have Poland Spring and not wine.

            • Rasha

              …wait – are you me???

            • Sherbet

              Now, I’m just a MA woman sitting here with my nailgu…hey, wait a minute!

            • Rasha

              *wipes wine off monitor*

            • Rasha

              Wait – is anyone going???

            • Sherbet

              40 or 50 people, I think. That’s awesome.

            • flyonthewall

              Artoo is goin. Eivol too. Two bunkeroos I’d love to meet IRL, they’re the best

            • Rasha

              …yet, you’re not goin’….

            • flyonthewall

              I will fight you

            • Rasha

              *reaches for fresh nailcoil*

              … aw, damn….. Um… puns, then?

            • Sherbet

              Maybe next year for the flies and larvae?

            • Rasha

              …yeah, actually I heard that. Pretty amazement.

            • Sherbet

              Is this the first you’ve heard that the Bunker is amazing? ๐Ÿ˜€

            • Rasha

              Sillyhead. ^_^

              I hears that HowdyCon will be teh biggest EVAR!!!!!!!

            • EmmaDaoust

              But you don’t even live in Massachusetts.

            • Sherbet

              I don’t?? Holy crap! Then whose house is this, and what am I doing here??

            • EmmaDaoust

              You’re in MY house.
              https://youtu.be/hfN-QfBbHoc

            • Rasha
            • Jimmy3

              Goes for Sherb too
              http://youtu.be/1TphEh0Qgv0

            • flyonthewall

              i bet they just uber fugly and don’t leave the house ever. Fugly like this guy.

              https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/23fcf7dc06ebce3d0f3f4c32f1064d23494390a7cc01f68d37d6a186e681d509.jpg

              Poor fugly Rasha and Sherb. We don’t care, we carry dem in deir basket everywhere. Get a grocery cart and push them make them go WEEEE!!!

            • Sherbet

              I think I’m supposed to be insulted, but I’m laughing too hard.

            • Rasha

              *digs out high school yearbook*

              ….whew… nope… that IS my basket, though….

            • Sherbet

              And the grocery cart thing sounds wicked fun…

            • Rasha
            • Sherbet

              Bawk, bawk.

          • Supper Powers

            Dude, I’m coming through the Lou and grabbing you!

            • Sherbet

              Take video. I want to see that.

      • Taffy Sinclair

        I’m one of those parents. I shield him from nothing!!!
        His thetan is trillions of years old, why should he not see weird sex shit? Sea-Org’rs get to question grown folk re: their sexual proclivities at the age of 9!! Why should my offspring be spared from such abuses??

        • flyonthewall

          why indeed. How old is jr?

          • Taffy Sinclair

            By the Gregorian calendar or Julian Calendar?

            Or in metric or imperial measurements?

            • Rasha

              Valid points. *salute*

            • flyonthewall

              i don’t think you can tell age by metric/imperial but there’s a lot I don’t know so…

        • Missionary Kid

          Fly brought his cute girls and spent time going to places the kids would enjoy while he wasn’t with the rest of us. If you saw the pictures of the girls in a shark costume, that’s them. They were adorable, and, unlike their dad, well behaved. Just kidding. Fly in person is very well behaved.

          • Taffy Sinclair

            I had a feeling ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Rasha

            The larvae are adorbs. Oh, heck, all of the Fly’s are!!!

          • Supper Powers

            Yeah right. Just go to his house. He doesn’t show you all his awesome Lego stuff or have a surprise lunch and Kool Aid waiting for you. And his kids aren’t stinking cute and polite. Pfffft!!!

      • iampissed

        Really

      • iampissed

        The Denver convention bureau hates you.

  • Rasha

    O/T Hate it when you click on “U Can’t Touch This”, and YouTube loads a Timberlake song featuring stormtroopers, then when you back up, you have to sit through a 30-second commercial before the video…..

  • madame duran

    Re: Clearwater’s purchase of Aquarium lot (April 20, 2017 Council Meeting)
    – Live Streaming (must download either Windows Media Player or Microsoft Silverlight to play the vids): http://clearwater.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=25 )

    – Meeting Agenda (PDF file): http://legistar2.granicus.com/clearwater/meetings/2017/4/1321_A_City_Council_17-04-20_Meeting_Agenda.pdf

    • chukicita

      Wow! Check Resolution number 17-14 just before the item on the agenda about the Aquarium land sale. It formalizes some economic development rules and requires a transparency that Captain Blackheart might not find suitable. Edit: It also requires that proposed development plans demonstrate how they align with city strategic plans, and requires qualitative and quantitative measurement of things like jobs created and how much they pay.

      Those counter intentional wog elected officials!

      • Sherbet

        The church is already preparing its butt-hurt statement, that bigotry played a principal role in the loss of the sale and that the City Council did not demonstrate their sincere responsibility to the Clearwater community to take the opportunity to improve the city. And blah blah blah.

      • That’s the kind of legal and procedural detail that real politicians have to weave in order to do anything. It’s interesting to compare this with Miscavige’s approach, which does not engage with the real, complicated, world at all.

        He thinks he’s a manager and a leader – but he wouldn’t have a clue how to order paper clips if he has to serve on the Clearwater Council. That resolution makes it clear that Miscavige is not any kind of politician. He more closely resembles a petty gangster who only understands brute force, and thinks everyone else operates on the same basis.

  • AntoniaW

    O/T, but just a little diversion for us UK $ci-watchers:-
    https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g186245-d227560-Reviews-Camelot_Castle_Hotel-Tintagel_Cornwall_England.html
    โ€œRun!!!!!โ€
    Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile
    Nothing about this hotel was in the realm of “normal”. It felt as though we were in a real life Twilight Zone!! I kept thinking that we were pawns in someone’s game, but we weren’t supposed to be aware of it. As the freaky elements continued to build one after the other, we discerned that this place was owned and run by Scientologists. I had no previous conclusions about Scientologists. But after the mere hour I spent in their walls, I am certain that it is a cult. The employees seemed quite zombie-like. There was no emotional presence. We did not stay the night!! And I encourage you to “run” before you ever have an opportunity to realize these truths for yourself.

    Stayed March 2017, travelled with friends

    • iampissed

      I didn’t even look at the link…but I know who you are talking about.

      • AntoniaW

        Lord, I even forgot to say… Btw are there any other scientologist hoteliers out there? Or is it almost possible to prove that scientology & the hospitality business cannot coexit?

        • Missionary Kid

          I believe that there’s only one $cientologist owned and run hotel in the U.K.

          IMO, they can co-exist, but only if they conform to wog standards of service or don’t have very underpaid sea org labor.

        • He’s not really a hotelier in any meaningful sense – for Mappin it’s a hobby and a pose financed by family money.

          In the past he has also played with advertising-funded newspapers (including one that only published ‘good’ news) and is, of course, recently imagined he was building a ‘media empire’ by buying a few high-end SLRs and putting the results on YouTube.

          I seriously wonder if the hotel isn’t effectively subsidised, since its reputation is so awful, the location is the only reason to stay there and I doubt anyone recommends it, or stays there twice.

          Unfortunately, he also uses the family money to play with Scientology – and is a big donor to Plymouth’s putative Ideal Org – the nearest Scientology facility, although it is miles away.

    • Sherbet

      I looked at the Trip Advisor link. Then when I checked my email, I got a popup from Trip Advisor and Camelot Castle. Big Brother is watching me.

      • Philbyification

        Big Bro had No reason not to shut down that Criminal Hoaxer Alex Jones Years ago….lol

    • Harpoona Frittata

      “I had no previous conclusions about Scientologists. But after the mere
      hour I spent in their walls, I am certain that it is a cult.”

      Hahaha…I just love a quick study!

  • Observer
    • Taffy Sinclair

      I do an Aliyah erry Sat in synagogue

    • John Prince

      ..used to have the Album ๐ŸŽธ. .excellent Musical Choice! ๐Ÿ‘โœŒ
      Had a kinda’ Buddy Holly look didn’t He?

  • iampissed

    Ok someone tell me did they buy it.

    • madame duran

      You mean if the City of Clearwater bought the land from the Aquarium? The council meeting dealing with that matter is TOMORROW.

      • iampissed

        Thanks forgot.

  • Observer

    Just saw an ad for The Mummy. In every shot Tom looked like he was brooding morosely over his chipmunk cheeks.

    • Sherbet

      The Mummy — Sponsored by Juvederm.

    • Todd Tomorrow

      I’ve heard it was horrible. But I heard Cruise signed up for the blockbuster series FIFTY Shades Fade to Dark.

    • Jimmy3

      Tom Cruise does his own stunts. Right now he’s wrapped up in a crate of Charmin.

      • WhiteCentauress
        • Jimmy3

          Right, but she resurrects him from the dead, because she has “chosen him”. There’s a scene of him popping out of a body bag. And in one of the teasers, there’s a scene of his eyes splitting like the Mummy’s does.

          So we can assume he either turns into “The Mummy”, or is at least briefly under her spell. But there’s also a popular theory that he will become the Mummy going forward in the franchise.

          There are also theories that he’s a descendant of Van Helsing. They’re trying to make this a connected franchise. Russel Crowe is Dr. Jekyll and will play Dr. Jekyll in a series of movies.

          http://youtu.be/i3Kq2qliOXc

    • WhiteCentauress

      He’s looking his age. I was thinking today that he’s old enough to be Suri’s grandpa, and his daughter is married, so he could well become one IRL soon.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/947d264d956804688ffa4aacbd537ec7cb812aaab2f3eb5a7081956f5955f385.png

      • Rasha

        ANOTHER CHIPMUNK MOVIE????

      • Sherbet

        He is looking his age, and that’s not so bad. He’s a good-looking 54-year-old man. Unfortunately, he just keeps pretending he’s 32 in his movie roles, and it ain’t working.

        • Rasha

          Yep. Looking his age, but not acting it.

          • Sherbet

            Product placement: BMW

        • WhiteCentauress

          No, you’re right, it isn’t working. He just ruined his looks with the surgery, IMO. I’ve only watched one of his movies, “Rainman”, because it had Dustin Hoffman in it. Dustin is such a great actor. ๐Ÿ˜

          • Sherbet

            I don’t know. I think he looks OK. And I actually thought Cruise was better than Hoffman in “Rainman,” because Hoffman sounded like he was Acting with a capital “A.” Not as natural as he usually is.

            I watched “Tropic Thunder” even though it meant I had to look at Tom Cruise — something I avoid — and I had to admit he was hilarious in it. He played way against type, and it was successful.

          • Jimmy3

            Rainman was filmed 30 years ago. He really didn’t age that poorly considering.

            • WhiteCentauress

              I agree. He has that somewhat handsome, “ageless” face, but he didn’t improve his looks by trying to erase his wrinkles. I like a few wrinkles. Shows character. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘

            • Todd Tomorrow

              He has good Dr’s. We’d age like fine wine if we did, too.

      • Sine qua non

        It’s gotta be uncomfortable being an aging actor, even for a big being like Tom Cruise. You can’t avoid reality forever. At least, not on your skin. The mind is something else.

        • Todd Tomorrow

          That was just a $cion statue he really isn’t that big.

        • Rasha

          Yeh, you can be kept on film forever, but film won’t keep you as you are forever.

        • Sherbet

          Women have it worse. We’ve all seen geriatric actresses with jet black or platinum blonde hair, as if they’re fooling anyone they’re still an ingenue.

        • With respect, if you’re really an actor you can adapt by taking other roles. The problem for people like TC is that they are ‘Stars’ – they present the same persona in all of their films, so that they are always recognised.

          He has become typecast as a young ‘action hero’ . That’s all he can do, and all the audiences expect of him – so he does have a serious problem with getting older unless you totally reinvents himself – with will be hard to do, after all this time.

          That, and the genre of ‘action movie’ is giving way to the ‘CGI superheroes’. “Mission Impossible” stunts are now old hat.

      • TheMirrorThetan

        He looks ok for his age. Even for a puffy faced chipmonk cheeked big being with a middle tรฒoth.
        On the inside he is as ugly as a cat’s arsehole.

        • WhiteCentauress

          That’s very descriptive…๐Ÿ˜‚

    • I still have his scream ringtone on my phone at work.

    • madame duran

      Every time I’m subjected to see Tom Cruise’s face, I’m pining to see more Hugh Jackman. Chipmunk cheeks versus steely abs. It’s not a fair contest. You KNOW who’ll win.

  • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

    Been slammed at work with little time to play, but needed to drop in and leave this:

    Ebnerrrrrrrr!!!!

    Alright, I’ll go back to my little corner now and keep grinding.

    • Sherbet

      Thanks for the fly-by, Lumi.

    • Rasha

      LUMIIIIII!!!!!!!!

      • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

        Rashieeeeeee!!!!

        • Taffy Sinclair

          I love Rashie, too.

          • Rasha

            You silly!!!

            • Taffy Sinclair

              This calls for a Kool Slut-Butt!!!

            • Rasha

              ShhhhBAP!!!

            • Taffy Sinclair

              Back in da day n’ the RPF, I was lightin’ slut-butts left and right for mein furher….

        • Rasha

          Get more play time!!!

          • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

            Or at least more wine time!!!

            • Taffy Sinclair

              I must know what yr name means!!!

            • Rasha

              Yes. There is that. -_^

  • Rasha

    It’s after 10:00. Dropping this here…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WPj3VxDsMk

    • Rasha

      Luv Savlonic…..

      • Sherbet

        (Oh, thank God it isn’t Perfume again…)

        Hey, thanks for posting that, Rasha!

        • Rasha

          You’re so lucky I’m on a Savlonic jag right now…….

          -_^

          • Rasha

            “….and then I see your wallet next to your heart next to mine….”

            • Sherbet

              Is that a scientology song?

            • Rasha

              ISWYDT

            • Rasha

              …still thinking about dropping some Perfume here…..

            • Sherbet

              Go ahead. I’m sure SOMEBODY likes it.

            • Rasha
            • Rasha

              ….it was either that or Perfume. Sorry. I got bad brain…..

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jJWzjqOem0

            • Sherbet

              Oh, gosh, funny! I have a few people to forward that link to.

            • Rasha

              Go M, go A, go S and S and O
              Go C and H and E and I
              Go C
              Go H and E and I

              Go M A double K
              Go A and K and O, K, O
              M-A-S-S-O-C-H-E-I!!!

            • Sherbet

              Like Mass produce without the “produce.”

            • Rasha

              And they’re Norwegian. Ylvis is brilliant.

            • Sherbet

              I wondered. Very cool voices.

            • Taffy Sinclair

              As a mass-hole, I love this.. Danvers insane asylum shoudda been a part, tho

            • Rasha

              So yesss.

            • Sherbet

              You’re a Masshole? Do you live here now?

            • Taffy Sinclair

              Sadly, no. I’m in the south. But I am identified by my “accent,” which I do not believe I have…

            • Sherbet

              OK.

            • Taffy Sinclair

              You a Mass resident, Sherbz?

            • Sherbet

              Yes, born and bred.

            • Taffy Sinclair

              I’ll tell you why I adore yr name. I lived in CT for years, and my aunt used to sew us kids bears, mine was named “Sherbet.”
              We would vacay on the Cape every summer, and make up songs about our bears, Albert, Herbert, & Sherbet!!!

            • Sherbet

              Aww. Must have been the cutest of the three.

            • Taffy Sinclair

              uh-DUH!!

              i miss those summers….. being a kid was so fun, how I wish I could go back!!

              My daddy’s born & raised in Worcester…

            • Sherbet

              Well….go Sox.

            • ok, this is getting weird now. I grew up in northeast CT, also used to vacay on the Cape (Sandwich)
              and…

            • Taffy Sinclair

              WHERE IN CT??? I got’s to know!! Me? Tolland.

            • I worked in Tolland but grew up about 30 minutes east of there, on Route 6, closer to RI

            • Taffy Sinclair

              Not coventry, … Willimantic???

            • Taffy Sinclair

              Pomfret? Brooklyn? I’m outta ideas…..

            • Do you remember a printing company called Standard Register on Hartford Tpke? I worked there for about 5yrs in the early 90s.

            • I won’t tell you if you guess correctly but no, smaller. My town didnt have its own high school and only 1 traffic light.

            • Taffy Sinclair

              Well, I’ll tell YOU! Delicious duck!! East Catholic, y’all!!

            • (continued from comment to Taffy) … and i used to be in a punk band that rehearsed near Revere Beach.

            • Sherbet

              Captain Howdy lived a stone’s throw from Revere Beach.

            • I’ve been wondering since arriving here, but never thought to ask until now, do you happen to know why the Captain used that screen name?

            • Sherbet

              I always assumed it was because he was into weird movies and authors, and Captain Howdy was the name of the demon spirit conjured up by the ouija board in the original “The Exorcist.” His first avatar reflected that character.

            • Sounds about right, thanks! He passed a bit before my time and I was curious if he went w/ it based on the Exorcist or the creeper in the movie Strangeland that liked to talk to kids in chat rooms … then torture them. Both made sense to me.

            • Sherbet

              He was a connoisseur of creepy and obscure movies. And of course a punk rocker, although he liked a lot of different music styles. His brain was like a catalog of alternative culture.

            • Robert Eckert

              definitely the Exorcist: his first avatar before the bear-shark was the creepy picture of Pazuzu

            • Todd Tomorrow

              And don’t forget the best city in the nation, San Francisco. He loved living there.

            • Sherbet

              That was his favorite.

            • Taffy Sinclair

              we may know each other

            • we’re probs related

            • Rasha

              …might still do it….

            • Taffy Sinclair

              Gucci, please.

      • Taffy Sinclair

        I luv Rashfarianism.

    • It’s just not Badgers, Badgers, Badgers.

      • Rasha

        mushroom! MUSHROOM!!

  • Taffy Sinclair

    I’m doing God’s,, err, I mean, Xenu’s work here in the good ol’ bible belt. I have hoodwinked my S.O. into sorta-agreeing to HowdyCon!!! It’s on, Bitches.

  • Rasha

    Click the heart!!!

    • Taffy Sinclair

      No. Click THIS!!! lol

      • Taffy Sinclair

        that me trying to be funny, did it work?

        • Rasha

          …clicked.

          • Taffy Sinclair

            I promise to stop squirrling yr tech.

            • Rasha

              Rasha Techยฎ is totally squirrelable.

            • Taffy Sinclair

              u going to howdycon?

            • Rasha

              Not in person. Sounds like a crowd, though!!!

            • Taffy Sinclair

              I waana see sqeeze my cans soooo bad!!!

            • Rasha

              That looks so fun!

            • Taffy Sinclair

              you should come

            • Taffy Sinclair

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivCqXpEx1uQ

              They will “take you down???!!!??!”

              Not Rasha!!

            • Todd Tomorrow

              I tried, I can’t.”The Vm’s who save so many lives..” is as far as I could get.

            • Harpoona Frittata

              “…we will never play the clown”. Oh no?

            • Taffy Sinclair

              you’re down voted for not going.

            • Rasha

              Oh, you……

            • Taffy Sinclair

              *wink* I’m a bitch, I know!

            • Rasha
            • Taffy Sinclair

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v33_HeeudWs

              I love Irish music!! And I’mma bitch!! Enjoy this vid, Rasha!!! Rashie-Rashie-full-of-Smoshie!!!!

  • theThrillCC

    After reading mjfacts.com I thought this post would be much darker, that site has made me expect the worst from anything mentioning MJ now…

  • beauty for ashes

    there is a section called unbearable cuteness. so you may want to be careful.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPbRQLelJ78

    • Liberated

      Do you know that a litter can have more than one daddy ? It’s true.

      • OOkpik

        Yes. It is common in dog litters too and even human twins can have different Daddys. ๐Ÿ™

        • beauty for ashes

          Ooooh….. that would make for a really interesting Maury episode.

        • Liberated

          Humans too…huh ?
          I did not know that.

          • Princess Squishy

            yeah, fraternal twins happen when the mother ovulates 2 eggs, instead of one egg being fertilized and dividing. So if a woman ovulates 2 eggs, and has sex with 2 men, and somehow each egg gets fertilized by a different man, she can have twins that have 2 different dads. Super rare, but possible.

    • Todd Tomorrow

      I fail at fostering. Three of my fogs were fosters. C’est dommage.

      • beauty for ashes

        Those greyhounds, they just have those EYES. Melt your poor heart.

      • Juicer77

        XD

    • Newiga

      Cute Kitteehs. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ

    • Juicer77

      100% true. So worth it.

      • beauty for ashes

        I knew YOU could take it my fellow comrade!

        • Juicer77

          I will not admit that when my fosters leave for the adoption center, I visit them at bedtime for snuggles, because that was our routine. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • beauty for ashes

            Awwwww! You foster? Knowing you that must be, sooooo hard! What a nice Juicer you are!!!

    • AntoniaW

      This is very cruel. I have 2 french bulldogs called Humphrey & Coco, but they are so ugly that they are known locally as Garg & Oyle.

  • Juicer77

    Welcome, newbies and lurkers and under-the-radars. There is always more room on the Bunkersofa. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c44c15a566d0c2a5430749a17034b5a34b50409dd4af4f1949ea0f719a19ad64.jpg f5

    • We don’t do f5 anymore :-O

      • Juicer77

        I did, it just got pushed under the photo. I’m old fashioned that way!

        • Philbyification

          I had no idea what it was on MY 1St foray into Bunkerland, me being, all “serious” and Stuff!! lolol I don’t even remember who I was “snorty” to, dougdouglas?….f5? Wth?
          Like Betty said…..Deftones. bwahaha

          • Juicer77

            I should really say “refresh for picture” since the message *is* aimed at newbies. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Ann B Watson

      You did it to my heart again,just so Adorable!!๐Ÿ˜˜

      • Juicer77

        The interwebz ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Sunny Sands

    Tampa Bay Times reported late yesterday that a huge estate near Flag was sold for $11.18 million, the most ever paid for a residence in the Tampa Bay area. The article said the name of the new owner is not yet in the public records, it is still in the name of the former owners, and the realtors won’t say who bought it.

    Today is also the day the Clearwater council votes on the purchase of the property. There may be a connection between these 2 events. A whale, or even David Miscavige, may have bought the estate, and that could be one reason scientology wants the Clearwater land parcel.

  • Shivani33

    When John Travolta expresses his loyalty and gratitude to Scientology, often I feel like I’m observing a person who has entrenched Stockholm Syndrome and who has suffered under it for decades. He seems to be dragging a huge ball and chain superimposed over his very existence. He reminds me of Patty Hearst after the Symbionese Liberation Army leeched away her individuality. However, Travolta’s prison sentence has never ended.

    Beneath the pretense of religion and specialized celeb love-bombing, Scientology is driven by profit and profit only. Travolta is a useful commodity with a stuffed wallet. Maybe he’s ambivalent about Scientology’s tight grip power trip.

    How much of his energy has been dissipated by a combination of trying to control his world and then crashing into stagnant, cut-off misery? How much has Scientology aggravated his sexual complexities and his ability to manage his personal impulses? Who wants to be bossed around?

    Travolta is known and loved for his work as an actor. His “scandals” aren’t very scandalous anymore. His wigs. So what. His lovelife. Big whoop. Times are changing. And damn it, people like him! He’s had plenty of heartache and plenty of passion, and it shows. He is ordinary and extraordinary, just like everybody else.

    I wish very much that he would take the jump out of Scientology’s holding pattern, get experimental and BOOM! – find himself again. Quit circling the same godforsaken runway and make himself at home.