Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


As he predicted, Pastor Willy Rice gets the Scientology ‘Fair Game’ treatment

[Scientology never fails to take cheap shots with photos]

Last month, when Clearwater, Florida’s Pastor Willy Rice notified his congregation at Calvary Church that Leah Remini was planning on filming an episode of A&E’s Scientology and the Aftermath at his church, he warned his flock that the Church of Scientology had a history of attacking its critics.

The historic pattern of Scientology has been to viciously and unfairly attack their critics. Instead of answering the concerns raised, the cult has often sought to attack the messengers, their character, and their family. They are liable to do anything they can do to distract from the issue at hand. This is known as an Ad hominem argument and it is a familiar logical fallacy. We should anticipate an attack upon Calvary and our leaders and thus should pray for God’s protection and pray that what some may mean for evil, God will use for good. Please understand what is happening should you read or hear of some attack upon our church and/or our leaders. Our pastors and congregational leaders will respond as necessary to any attacks in the way we feel honors the Lord and defends the truth.

That event was canceled, but Pastor Rice later stood by his message with more strong words about Scientology and its practices.

And now, just as the pastor predicted, the Church of Scientology has launched an attack on him at the website it uses to take swipes at Leah Remini and the people who appear on her show as part of its “Fair Game” tactics against people it considers enemies.


Naturally, Scientology’s attack is ludicrously over the top and comical in execution. Calling the planned town hall at Calvary Church “KKK-like,” the screechy website attacked Rice for his conservative views on homosexuality.

The good pastor might have views that don’t comport with our own about same-sex marriage, but Scientology calling someone homophobic is just too precious.

Not only has Scientology’s deeply-embedded homophobia been exposed by former members like Nora Crest and Derek Bloch, but we also had a great opportunity to see inside Scientology’s gay-hating culture through the papers of a man named Keith Relkin.

Relkin had tried for years to make Scientology more accepting, and even, at one point, had convinced the church to produce a gay-themed cover for L. Ron Hubbard’s booklet, The Way to Happiness. But when he heard about it, Scientology leader David Miscavige put a stop to it.

It devastated Relkin, who in his private emails admitted what he couldn’t bring himself to say publicly: his church hated him.

“I think my new policy when talking to Flag staff will be to just blurt out ‘I’m gay.’ And watch them run,” he wrote to a friend just two days before he died in 2012.

So the idea of Scientology accusing someone of “gay-bashing” is really pretty entertaining.

We sent an email to Pastor Rice. We figured he was expecting that he’d be in the church’s cross-hairs. We hope he can find the time to send us a response.

UPDATE: And here’s the statement Pastor Rice just sent to us:

Recently the “Church” of Scientology released an attack on me and by extension Calvary, accusing us of being anti-gay. As they often do, they have attempted to turn the discussion away from their abusive and dangerous practices by attacking the critic. This is a familiar tactic and should not dissuade nor distract the growing chorus of those who are attempting to expose the abuses of Scientology. Ironically, the “church” of Scientology has a dubious and complicated history regarding its stance on homosexual conduct and the disparaging comments made by L. Ron Hubbard toward homosexuals cannot be easily dismissed.

Calvary does hold to the historic position of the Church and the historic understanding of biblical teaching on human sexuality. This understanding is that sex is designed by God, for God’s glory and purposes. The chief end of human sexual conduct is not self-seeking pleasure. We believe God has created and sanctioned sex for two persons, male and female, to find intimacy and companionship in a loving, covenant relationship known as marriage and that human sexual expression outside of this standard violates God’s ultimate purpose and loving character. We believe God’s purpose in sex reflects His love for us and His plan for human flourishing. We are well aware that this conviction is now radically counter-cultural and considered abnormal by many in our society. Nevertheless, we do believe it is the proper understanding and purpose of human sexuality.

We also believe all people are sinners and that we all need a Savior. Homosexuality is not the problem and heterosexuality is not the answer. We believe God loves all people and in His mercy and kindness offers us forgiveness and restoration through His Son Jesus Christ.

In the current debate with Scientology, many who do not share our faith or our convictions about human sexuality nevertheless agree with us and support our stance in exposing and opposing the deceptions and abuses of Scientology. Likewise, while we may not share the views of every critic of Scientology, we nonetheless join with them in seeking to shine a light on the abusive practices of this cult. We do not have to agree on everything to agree on some things.

Finally, we should say that we evangelicals have sinned often in failing to heed the words and spirit of Jesus. We have often found it easier to condemn the sins of others than humbly confess and repent of our own. Nearly every person has been touched by sexual sin of some type and nearly every person struggles with sexual temptations. Where we have been arrogant and self-righteous in condemning the weaknesses and sins of others, without humility and kindness, we repent and acknowledge this as sinful and ask for forgiveness. We ourselves often fall short of the standards that we aspire to and we seek to demonstrate far more humility and grace than often we have. Homosexuals are our family, our neighbors and our friends. They are welcome to attend and worship with us at Calvary as we all seek to better understand and follow the teachings of Jesus who we believe has come to save all mankind.


Jeffrey Augustine takes aim at the IRS commissioner

We recently learned from contributor Jeffrey Augustine that some changes in the law have made it a little harder for the IRS to launch an investigation into a church’s tax-exempt status. As a result, pressure will need to be brought on the IRS commissioner himself to launch an investigation, and that will take considerable effort.

In order to help that process along, Jeffrey has launched an online petition.

Now, we have made it plain in the past that we are not very sanguine on the efficacy of online petitions, and we haven’t changed our mind about that. However, we like the way Jeffrey has written this petition (most of them are written terribly), and it seems focused well. So, we’ll leave it up to you: here’s a link to Jeffrey’s campaign.



Bonus items from our tipsters

Finally, an elusive free-range thetan, caught on film!



Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,846 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,829 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,603 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,949 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,443 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,483 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,195 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 721 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,810 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,950 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,270 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,245 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 601 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 4,903 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,010 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,412 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,285 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 866 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,371 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,615 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,724 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on August 18, 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 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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email