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BLOCKBUSTER EXCLUSIVE: It turns out the National Enquirer is blowing smoke again

Scientology Watchers were naturally curious to see the National Enquirer go all-in this week with one of its screaming covers about the church and its celebrities, which naturally kicked up a lot of talk at the usual online gathering places. What did the newspaper mean by files being seized by the feds? And why hadn’t we seen that news anywhere else?

Well, we decided to take one for the team and actually read the Enquirer’s new blockbuster “world exclusive,” which turned out to be one of the most ridiculous hype jobs we’ve ever seen from them.

“SECRET SCIENTOLOGISTS UNMASKED!” reads the headline inside, along with its subhed: “Federal judge impounds cult’s EXPLOSIVE RECORDS.”

Oh my. So, just for fun, we’re providing their article for you here, along with our annotations.



A SHOCKING new federal court order…

There’s nothing shocking about the court order.

…has threatened to expose secret celebrity Scientologists…

No it hasn’t.

…after a judge seized the cult’s classified records!

No he didn’t.

The bombshell revelation is part of a multimillion-dollar fraud lawsuit…

The Garcias are suing over $435,000 in donations, not millions.

…filed against the church that’s rocked Hollywood to its core…

No one in Hollywood has heard about or cares about this lawsuit.

…shaking up stars whose links to the bizarre religion have been kept hidden for years!

No one is shaken up, least of all Hollywood people whose involvement in Scientology occurred decades ago.

“There’s widespread panic,” a source told The National Enquirer exclusively.


There’s no panic. So either the newspaper made up this source, or someone who should know better is winding up the Enquirer, probably for pay.

“Scientology was ordered by a judge to hand over hundreds of names, phone numbers and occupations of followers in Los Angeles.”

True, and the church got to hand-pick the names on that list and so they wouldn’t have included any celebrities. Also, they would only be current members, not people who only had tangential involvement in the 1990s, for crissake.

“Some celebrities are really worried because the controversies surrounding the church could damage their reputation! These people are household names who’ve done courses and may consider some of the church practices to be beneficial, but the suit will expose them as devout Scientologists!”

No it won’t.

The lawsuit exploded when Luis A. Garcia Saz and his wife Maria del Rocio Burgos Garcia — who donated $1.3 million to the cult over a 28-year span — claimed to have been pressured and deceived by church members into handing over money.

The lawsuit was filed in January 2013 and has been through many twists and turns, which we’ve covered closely. But we wouldn’t describe it ever having “exploded” in that period.

The pair signed more than 40 documents agreeing to go through Scientology’s religious arbitration process if they wanted the money back — but the cult provides no such process!

Here, finally, is one true thing in this story, and sadly it’s lost in all the hype about celebrities.

As a result, federal Judge James Whittemore decided to “randomly” contact 500 Scientologists from confidential church records to establish a three-member arbitration team to hear the couple’s grievances.

Actually, Whittemore asked the church to turn over to him, under seal, the names and contact info of 500 Los Angeles-area members in good standing, and the church ended up turning over about half that.

The Tampa, Fla.-based jurist ordered the church to produce the files, and recent court filings indicated the case could be resolved by Oct. 23!

Whittemore sent a letter to about 50 of the Scientologists on the list, and found five who were willing to serve as arbitrators. Three are needed, and the arbitration is scheduled to start on Oct. 23 in Los Angeles.

“It wouldn’t be a surprise if the files included someone famous, who people didn’t know had gone to Scientology. These people will do anything to save face!” an insider said.

Still tough to tell if this is a made-up source or someone doing performance art.

Former “King of Queens” star Leah Remini recently won an Emmy Award for her series about the controversies facing the church — and the A-listers believed to have been secretly involved in the religion are astonishing, the insider spilled. Brad Pitt completed two Scientology courses between July 1991 an May 1993 while dating Scientologist Juliette Lewis.

Wow, this is old, old news. What does it have to do with some names of active members the church turned over to a judge in Florida? Apparently the only reason this is in here is to give the Enquirer an excuse to put Pitt on the cover.

Former high-ranking member Amy Scobee revealed: “Brad didn’t think it was for him… He was high on the church president’s list of stars they felt could be ‘recovered.'”

Pretty sure this is a very old quote from Amy, who is awesome.

Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith raised eyebrows when they opened New Village Leadership Academy, a private southern California school that reportedly used a curriculum devised by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. The “Independence Day” hunk admitted to being introduced to the church by poster boy Tom Cruise in 2007. A tax return Smith filed that same year revealed he donated $122,500 to the Church of Scientology.

The story of the Smiths and their school is actually much more interesting than this, and it involved much more money — the Smiths made a loan of $1.2 million to fund the school for three years. We have that and much more detail besides in our stories that include the only interviews with the school’s former principal.

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld confessed he “took a couple of courses” early in his career, and actress Candice Bergen was one of its original followers in the ’60s. Late “Superman” hero Christopher Reeve submitted to relentless auditing, but later quit. “Arrested Development” actor Jeffrey Tambor was a member in 2007, and reportedly tried to recruit co-stars and cameramen.

Candice Bergen? Jerry Seinfeld? Christopher Reeve? Why bring up that ancient history in a story like this? Is Judge Whittemore likely to get Christopher Reeve’s contact info in a member list from the church?

The Enquirer can also reveal O.J. Simpson once boasted about going “clear” — the highest level one can attain in the religion, and Demi Moore is believed to have dabbled in church services. Cher’s ex-husband Sonny Bono spilled his darkest secrets in auditing sessions — and “[Scientology] made it very difficult for him” to quit in the ’90s, his widow, Mary, has said.

Thanks, Enquirer, but a British TV show “revealed” O.J.’s boasting about going Clear something like 20 years ago, and of course “Clear” is not even close to being Scientology’s highest level.

“The fact a judge has blown open their sealed files is a huge precedent for future cases,” a source said.

Judge Whittemore asked for some names and phone numbers. He did not “blow open” Scientology’s “sealed files.”

“It’s only a matter of time before the highly classified auditing files of celebrity members are obtained by a judge or a defector. These are likely to contain details of drug addictions, violent beatings, serial cheating and other nasty behaviors.” So it’s not surprising celebrities are haunted by their ties to scandal-plagued Scientology.

Whittemore’s request in no way suggests that the seizing of confidential auditing files are to follow. But this bit of pointless speculation is what makes the cover of the newspaper, naturally.

Cops probed Scientologist Danny Masterson, of “That ’70s Show” fame, on rape charges, which he denied.

Hey, this is actually an important story, but even Jerry Seinfeld and Candice Bergen get bigger mentions in this dreadful piece.

Cruise’s divorce from Katie Holmes in 2012 — and his failure to be seen with their daughter, Suri, since then — has been a public relations nightmare for the star.

True, but again, it has nothing to do with the Garcia legal case.

Kirstie Alley insisted the church helped her conquer drug addiction, but its “Narconon” rehab facility has been criticized for its use of vitamin drips and lengthy sauna sessions.

Its Narconon facility? Only one? The network of rehabs has actually been getting criticized for multiple deaths and for all of the deceptions at the heart of its business model. We should know, because we’ve been doing the criticizing.

There’s also the curious case of John Travolta’s gay double life, which The Enquirer has reported. Sources believe the truth about his sexuality is suppressed on the order of Scientology bigwigs. Travolta brought Patrick Swayze into the fold, with the late “Dirty Dancing” star admitting he was “into Scientology.”

Sure, why not throw in Travolta’s sexuality into the mix. Something tells us, however, that the Florida-based actor’s contact info is not going to be included in a list of Los Angeles-area church members for consideration as arbitrators.

A source noted: “The church records everything. The donations, the courses and even the auditing tapes are transcribed and kept in vaults.”

The Enquirer previously had a bogus story, based on an overexcited source, that the auditing files of the celebrities were being kept in the Trementina Base vault in New Mexico, one of the underground vaults operated by the Church of Spiritual Technology. So maybe this is the same clown who fed that story as well.

“Just because a celebrity only went once or twice, or made a few small donations, it makes no difference. As far as the church is concerned, that makes you a Scientologist for life!”

OK, you’ve had your fun, “source.” Now, how about dropping us a line so we can talk over this game you’re playing. Is it strictly for the cash? Or is it that pathetic “any bad news about the church is good for our side” crap that always makes us groan when we see it? Whatever the reason, we’d be interested in discussing it with you.


Freewinds Confidential

We want to thank the tipster who found himself in an interesting situation, with a great view of Scientology’s cruise ship Freewinds, where wealthy church members go to complete the highest auditing level on the Bridge to Total Freedom, OT 8.

Enjoy these nighttime views of the old barge.


Looks like there’s a little auditing going on there on the poop deck. How theta!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,897 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 43 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,106 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,880 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,654 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,000 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,494 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,534 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,246 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 772 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,861 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,001 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,321 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,296 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 652 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 4,954 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,060 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,463 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,336 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 917 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,422 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,666 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,775 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on October 9, 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


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