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Around the globe, Scientology relies on guys like this to promote L. Ron Hubbard to your kids

Rod Keller keeps a vigilant watch over Scientology sneaky front groups, and takes us around the world this time…

A new flier from Foundation for a Drug Free World quotes four local officials from four areas of the world in support of the distribution of Scientology’s drug education booklets. Attempts to reach the officials for comment were not successful, but we do know about some of Scientology’s activities in these areas. Scientology uses a variety of tactics in these countries to promote their anti-drug message and to gain allies for future expansion or orgs and missions.



Eastern Cape is one of the nine provinces of South Africa and both Eastern and Western Cape are the territory of Robert Van Der Feyst (see above), a one-man touring drug education campaign in local schools. There is little doubt that the quote from the Department of Education was elicited through one of his talks. Van Der Feyst speaks under the banners of several Scientology front groups. He is Narconon, he is the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, and he is The Way to Happiness. In most countries Narconon runs drug rehab centers while the Foundation for a Drug Free World does education. Since the Cape Town Narconon closed many years ago, Van Der Feyst is an independent operator, and is the sole presence of Narconon in southern South Africa.


[Van Der Feyst speaking for the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, May 2016]


[Representing Narconon and The Way to Happiness, March 2017]


[Locational Assist training, May 2017]

We asked Shelley Ashurst, a former Scientologist and staff member in Johannesburg, to explain the photo of Van Der Feyst training students to perform Locational Assists.

That’s straight Scientology auditing and has nothing to do with anti-drug lectures. That assist is not a locational assist – it’s what’s called a Havingness Assist, and the commands are all wrong. It’s squirrel tech. The havingness assist is very often run on a PC after an auditing session. The basic theory is that the PC has “blown” (lost) charge on his case and that process is run to rehabilitate his “havingness” after a session. This guy is being subtly indoctrinated into SCN without knowing it.

A locational assist consists of the auditor pointing out various objects in the PCs surroundings and getting him or her to look at these things until there is a change or improvement in the PC. A locational is run on anyone who is highly agitated, very upset, drunk, emotional etc. Very often such a person is considered “not in Present Time” (out of PT) and a locational assist is run in order “to bring the person into PT.”

Scientology doesn’t appear to be upset about the use of squirrel tech in South Africa. The photos are posted on a Narconon Facebook page available to all users.

Alifereti Naqeleca Waqa fills a similar role in New Zealand. The native of Fiji is on staff at the new Auckland Ideal Org where he runs the Volunteer Ministers, Youth for Human Rights, and the local branch of the Foundation for a Drug Free World. Rather than visit schools, in New Zealand Scientology relies on literature tables at public parks and markets. The quote on the flyer from a member of the New Zealand Parliament likely comes from one of Waqa’s events. The Mangere area is a suburb of Auckland, and has been represented in Parliament by William Sio since 2008.


Tunbridge Wells is a borough in Kent, England close to Scientology’s Saint Hill facility in East Grinstead. Drug education out of Saint Hill features the Jive Aces, Scientology’s swing band. The tactic in England is to engage local politicians directly. Band members posed with East Grinstead mayor Dick Sweatman as he signs a drug free pledge in March, 2016.


Adrian Hayman is one of the Saint Hill volunteers, seen below with his Foundation for a Drug Free World motorcycle. The quote on the flier apparently comes from one of the 48 borough councilors for Tunbridge Wells, probably in connection with a Jive Aces event.


Scientology in Panama is represented by a small mission. We were unable to locate the Department of Curriculum and Educational Technology, but the quote was most likely solicited by Foundation for a Drug Free World volunteer Jorge Gianareas, below.


— Rod Keller


NBC proves that it still has no idea when it comes to Scientology

On Wednesday we told you to expect the big national networks to get into the Clearwater land story because it was so easy for them — a public land purchase, public records, and officials willing to go on the record.

Cleveland Street tavernkeeper Clay Irwin told us he was interviewed by NBC’s Lester Holt for what he thought would be a segment on Dateline. Instead, what aired was a 2-minute piece on the nightly news about the land deal. Irwin didn’t make the cut.

But that’s not why he’s fuming mad after it aired. What bugs him is that NBC somehow flipped the script to make Scientology not the bully in the story, but the victim. Here, take a look…


With help from Scientology attorney Monique Yingling, the network framed the story as one of Scientology being discriminated against when its huge $15 million offer for a piece of dirt was ignored. What the network didn’t tell you is that the Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s plans to use that land for a downtown expansion was undermined by the church. That’s why the aquarium had a vacant lot to sell, because Scientology had gone out of its way to ruin the aquarium’s hard work to make a downtown wing happen.

And that’s why, anyone should be able to see, that the aquarium was not interested in rewarding Scientology for its bullying behavior by handing over that prime piece of real estate to the church. Not when the city had plans for it that might actually, all these years after Scientology’s original underhanded invasion, begin to resuscitate the dead downtown.

The aquarium, by selling that parcel to the city for its assessed value ($4.25 million) stood up for the people of Clearwater and spurned Scientology’s $15 million offer for what would be another off-limits crowd-killer.

How do you turn that story into one in which Scientology was victimized by discrimination? Apparently, some networks are still shitting their pants when it comes to covering the Church of Scientology. What a shame.


Bonus items from our tipsters

Several readers forwarded us links to a story in Australia about Scientology finally giving up on its attempt to open a new Narconon drug rehab center in Yarramalong, where the church’s plan ran into stiff opposition from locals. Scientology’s property-buying arm has put a parcel it paid AUS $3.8 million up for $4 million after giving up hope on overcoming that local pushback. That seems like good news for people in Maryland who are opposed to a similar plan there, where Scientology paid about $5 million for a parcel that it has been unable, so far, to get a zoning ruling it needs to open a rehab. Could the church be forced to sell there, too? We asked our man Down Under, Bryan Seymour, for his thoughts on what happened in Yarramalong.

“A tiny community and their council won. When they challenged Scientology directly and rejected their celebrity enticement, they then defended their decision before the Land and Environment Court — and Scientology lost,” Bryan says. “Scientology will try again — they have $3 billion war chest. But the press here will be watching.”



Countdown to Denver!


HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25 at the Residence Inn Denver City Center. Go here to start making your plans.


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,771 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,528 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,874 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,368 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,408 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,120 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 646 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,735 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,875 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,195 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,170 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 526 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,828 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 935 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,337 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,210 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 791 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,296 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,540 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,649 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on June 4, 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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