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Someone forgot to notify the Dept. of Defense that Scientology is the world’s coolest religion

In October 1983 Sylvia Dewall joined the U.S. Air Force. And when you join the armed forces in this country, you are asked to identify your religion for your dog tags.

Since the age of 13, Sylvia had been a Scientologist. And that’s what she said when she was asked. “The recruiter had never heard about it,” she says. And so the recruiter put “NRP” as her religion, for “No Religious Preference.”

We asked her about that because, once again Scientology and the military has come up in the news. Previously, we told you that the VA doesn’t recognize Scientology when it comes to putting symbols on the grave markers of veterans. And now, the Department of Defense itself has slighted Scientology.

The DOD recently revealed that it had nearly doubled the number of religious faiths that it recognizes, bringing the total to 221. There’s everything on the list from Dianic Wicca to Shamanism to Atheism and Agnosticism.


But no Scientology.

Now, you would think that the church that calls itself “the world’s fastest growing religion” and “the world’s coolest religion,” and which claims to have anything from 6 to 20 million members — and 4.4 million new members every year — would be able to get itself recognized on a list that contains everything from Druidism to Eckankar.

But no luck. Could it have something to do with Scientology actually being so small it might have only a handful of active military members, if any at all? Sylvia Dewall’s service notwithstanding, there may be few Scientologists serving today, since the total number of Scientologists in the world now is probably only 20,000 or fewer.

But even if that’s the case, and there are few or no Scientologists serving the country, you’d think church leader David Miscavige would try to put a little pressure on the military to list Scientology with the rest. At this point, this is getting a little embarrassing.

When the military itself is recognizing that there are, in fact, atheists and agnostics in fox holes, how can Scientology be ignored totally?

Poor Dave.

Faith and Belief Codes of the DOD by Tony Ortega on Scribd


Another stale swing at Leah Remini

Once in a while we hear from readers who admit that they miss the old Freedom magazine, when the publication was a cartoonish attack dog for the Church of Scientology and it went after people like Anderson Cooper and Mike Rinder with attacks that were so over the top they could only have come from church leader David Miscavige himself.

A couple of years ago, Freedom got deadly dull, though you can sometimes see that it throws shade at people like your proprietor in its august pages.

Anyway, we’ve noticed that the new “STAND League” website is becoming a venue for Miscavige’s more goofy attacks on the people he perceives to be his enemies, Leah Remini chief among them. And this week there’s a shot at Leah once again from Michael Duff, who is married to actress Denice Duff.

It’s mostly just the usual lazy swipe at Leah, but we thought we’d share with you the best part of it. Take a look as Duff does his best to come up with an analogy to criticize Leah’s A&E show…

Honestly, I’ve been ignoring her all this time because she’s just not important enough to bother with. I assumed everyone else would also see how insane she was and she’d go away. But I was wrong.

I tried to put myself more in that mind-frame: how does one get so far gone and out of touch with reality? I guess money is a strong motivation. I wonder if I could get away with something like that. There must be something I can do to get some “sensationalist” cash myself!

And then it hit me! Stale bread! I left some bread unwrapped for a couple of days and when I wanted to eat it, it was stale. That’s it!

I’ll take a page out of Leah’s playbook and go on a tirade lying loudly (because that’s how you get heard these days) about how the bread was already stale and that I never actually liked bread, even though when I ate it I really liked it and it helped me. Instead I’m going to go on and on, and on and on, and on and on—and on—about how stale bread ruins people’s lives. Maybe I’ll even attack the people who work in the bakery! Then, I’ll get other people who also let their bread get stale (maybe even some who just hate bread and used to work for the bakery and tried to ruin it) and I’ll have them all say how bread—especially stale bread and the people in the bakery—ruined their lives too!

We’re such victims!!!

There’s got to be money in that, right? Right?


Your proprietor on the airwaves

You may have already heard these recent interviews with your proprietor. We’re placing them here mainly for archival reasons. They are an interivew on the Jim Paris radio show, and a fun podcast that calls itself the Unimaginary Friendcast.




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 4,731 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,834 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,328 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,368 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,080 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 606 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,695 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,835 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,155 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,130 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 486 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,788 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 895 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,297 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,170 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 751 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,256 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,500 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,609 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on April 25, 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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