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Photos shot by L. Ron Hubbard in 1975 capture how the founder wanted Scientology marketed

[When is the best time to spring ‘Dianetics’ during your date at Pizza Hut?]

Over at Facebook in a private group, former Scientologist Neil Sarfati posted some very fun images from a flyer dated 1975 which feature him in a number of images. What we especially like about them is that they were photos shot by L. Ron Hubbard himself, and give us a good idea of how Hubbard wanted to market Scientology.

Neil was in Scientology from 1968 to 1976, and during that time he had some pretty amazing experiences with Hubbard as a member of the Apollo Stars, a jazz ensemble that recorded a single album with Hubbard’s participation. Last year, Neil talked about the Apollo Stars experience for a very good piece about the band and its brief heyday.

We told Neil that we enjoyed the photos he posted. We particularly liked the one of him and his wild mane in a scene with him dancing…



To put that and the other images in more context, Neil sent us the entire 1975 flier that Hubbard had put together.


“I don’t remember where these were shot. Maybe Jamaica,” Neil tells us. “I was told to bring an assortment of clothes, which I did. This was one of the first photo shoots. If I remember correctly, at this time there wasn’t much direction from Hubbard, but that changed in time. He was a micromanager to the Nth degree. The shots went fast and furious. I think they had some story boards they were working from. We were put into position and Hubbard started shooting. I remember one shot we did with me in a coffin. Ugh.”

These shots and others ended up in an early version of the book “What is Scientology?” But this flier is just the best, isn’t it? Do any of our oldtimers remembers seeing it at the time? Will anyone admit that it, gulp, got them into Scientology?


Neil tells us that there were definite benefits to being selected to play for the Apollo Stars, which started around 1971. “For almost two years we would spend a couple of hours with Hubbard almost every day. He was relaxed with us. We were the flavor of the week. He would tell us all sorts of stories, which we of course ate up. He would tell us this and that is from the Whole Track,” Neil says, referring to Hubbard’s claim that he had explored his “Whole Track” of existence back quadrillions of years.

“When we added the Apollo Stars dancers Hubbard showed the head choreographer a step that he got from his space opera days. Everyone wanted to be a dancer as a way to get out of the RPF,” Neil says, in a reference to the Rehabilitation Project Force, the Sea Org’s prison detail. “Just about everyone you can imagine from from the executive strata came to us to be a dancer. Quentin Hubbard really want to be dancer, but Daddy said no. We had Greg Wilhere and his wife. I’m sorry I cant remember the others but there were dozens. We at that time had the clout to get just about anyone we wanted to. It was insane.

“Hubbard always dressed to the hilt. Ascots, capes, etc. Everyone on the ship loved us as we kept Hubbard away from them. We would practice many hours of the day, which the crew hated as we kept them up. We practiced right above the men’s and women’s dorms,” he says.

Thanks for that glimpse of life aboard the Apollo, Neil!


Marty Rathbun has a new video posted today

New day, new video. Same question: Why, Marty, did you give the Church of Scientology a private email from Dani Lemberger to use against him in litigation? Your defense of the RPF as simply “rehabilitation,” and trashing Jesse Prince is really winning you hearts and minds all over the place, but how about answering this simple question — how did you justify handing over a potentially damaging email to the Church of Scientology in its litigation against a former member?



Wow, we’re getting close to the start of HowdyCon 2017 in Denver. And we had a slight change in logistics from our caterer for our dinner on Saturday night, June 24. If you plan to go, make sure you have confirmed with Kim O’Brien, our coordinator, and visit our HowdyCon website where she has instructions for how you can pay for the dinner fee that night. You need to do that right away to make sure you’ll be included in the Saturday night festivities, which include:

— London-based Australian journalist Steve Cannane talking about his book Fair Game
— A spoken-word performance from former Sea Org official Claire Headley
— Cathy Schenkelberg performing for us scenes from her one-woman show, “Squeeze My Cans”

You don’t want to miss out, so please visit the convention page and get in contact with Kim.

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 4,780 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,537 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,883 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,377 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,417 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,129 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 655 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,744 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,884 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,204 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,179 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 535 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,837 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 944 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,346 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,219 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 800 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,305 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,549 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,658 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on June 13, 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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