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After pausing to reflect, Marie Bilheimer takes on Scientology’s attack of her ‘Leah Remini’ spot

Every week when there’s a new episode of A&E’s Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, we look to see how the Church of Scientology is going to react on its website dedicated to attacking Leah and the people who show up as her guests.

Usually just before the episode airs the church posts a vicious attack, often with videos of people close to the guests denouncing them in a robotic manner. This week, for example, an aunt and an uncle of Tara Reile trashed her as “pure hell,” even though, she pointed out, she had never lived with them. And family members of the other guest, Nathan Rich, claimed that he was sent to the Mace-Kingsley ranch run by Scientologists because the alternative would have been jail. Both Tara and Nathan chose to respond right away — Nathan, for example, pointed out that jail was hardly an option when he was first sent to the ranch when he was eight years old.

Other people choose not to respond to Scientology’s attacks. But today, we’re hearing from Marie Bilheimer, who has chosen to respond after taking some time to reflect.

Marie was featured on August 22 in the second season’s second episode, discussing the suicide of her husband, Aaron Poulin, which took place in a Scientology facility on Hollywood Boulevard but was kept quiet at the time. (We featured Marie and her other family disconnection issues in a lengthy story last year.)


The night her episode aired, Marie was attacked in videos featuring her own mother, June Rees, as well as Aaron’s mother Sheila Fraunfelter.

Marie tells us that she wanted to respond, but she thought she should wait to make it plain that she was not lashing out in anger.

“I relived the tragedy all over again, and a flood of emotions I’d repressed for so long came back all at once,” she says.

But now, calmer and ready to take on Scientology’s attack without emotion. She sent us this response, and we’re glad to bring it to you…



Here’s what most people don’t know: Aaron’s mom, Sheila Fraunfelter, was in the Sea Org at the time of her son Aaron’s death. She had been posted in the Flag Bureau as a Programs Chief running Class V Orgs from the Flag Management level. During the five years that Aaron and I were together — while also in the Sea Org — other than at the church events (where we’d all still be considered on post) I think he saw her maybe a handful of times on a personal basis. I never spent time with Aaron and his mother together off post. We just never could all get the approved time off together.

Sheila mentions in her video how angry she was at me when Aaron died and how angry she is today. I remember the first moment we both saw each other after we’d heard the news of his death. We were both being walked around the block of the Hollywood Guaranty Building in separate directions, continually passing each other as we made our rounds. I would have been with my auditor and she with hers, receiving a form of a “locational assist.” We didn’t speak or embrace or even approach each other. Nothing. If she was so angry, as a mother who just lost her child, don’t you think she would have said something to me?

As time progressed and I decided to leave the Sea Org, it was determined that Sheila would also be “routed out.” We were both on our qual and ethics handlings at the same time, in the same room, feet from each other every day. During this time, a period of a couple of months, she never expressed any anger towards me. She never asked me what happened, how it got to this point or what Aaron was going through. She never questioned me or spoke on the subject at all, or anything else for that matter. The one conversation we had occurred in the women’s room when I asked if they’d been able to contact Aaron’s father (he had routed out via the RPF shortly before we got married). She told me she was finally able to reach him through an old phone number she had of a family member of his and she had notified him.

After we were both out of the Sea Org, I ran into Sheila a couple of times. I was driving and saw her walking, I think we both worked in Glendale, and I offered her a ride. I drove her home to Hollywood. During that car ride, again, she never expressed any anger or animosity towards me. She happily accepted the ride and we chatted about nothing significant.

During the “Basics” book evolution (2007), I think it was my mom who called me up and told me that Sheila wanted to buy the book package for me. There was a big push to get a set into everyone’s hands and even if someone couldn’t afford it, someone else would be encouraged to purchase it for them. Sheila bought mine for me; there was no personal interaction between us for this transaction. I didn’t ask for the books, but accepted them, more so because I wouldn’t be able to decline and appear disaffected in some way.


[Sheila Fraunfelter, in the video she did for the church]

Aaron and I were the ages of 16-21 while we were together. I will not comment regarding who was responsible for him during that time. Sheila did enough giving him up to the Sea Org.

I was quite surprised that Sheila spoke up against me, knowing so little about me or what had gone on while I was married to Aaron. I had actually tried to protect her by personally contacting Leah after filming to ensure I hadn’t said anything that might have embarrassed her. I guess I thought Sheila was still a decent person who was due that respect. I was caught quite off-guard when she blamed me for the death of her son, and my opinions of her character immediately changed.

My mother also contributed to the video against me. I could tell she was restrained and did not, at least in my opinion, say anything too damning. She says that I had told her of my marital struggles with Aaron and that this had been going on for some time. This wasn’t news, but it was something I wouldn’t have been able to divulge to her while I was in the Sea Org. I confided in my mother after the death of my husband, sharing things openly with a person I thought was a shoulder I could cry on. What isn’t communicated is that Aaron wanted out of the relationship because he felt he was holding me back from my full potential as a Sea Org member. I was qualified and approved for Int and he never would be. But I didn’t care about that, I didn’t want to be posted at Int and I had communicated that to him.

As I did for Sheila, I tried to protect my mom while I was being interviewed for Leah’s show. The story was about Aaron. When the off-camera producer started questioning along that line, I stopped and said I didn’t want to trash my mom, that that’s not what this was about. The only two people I tried to protect were the only two people presented in these videos. That was done intentionally to hurt me and try to break my spirit. It did hurt, but my spirit cannot be broken and I will continue to speak the truth.

The last night I saw Aaron, he told me he had realized that he did love me and it was just his out-ethics that had been coming between us. The note he left read, “Tell my wife, I’m sorry, I love her and I meant what I said last night.” That was it. We loved each other. No one can change what happened or tell another story.

— Marie Bilheimer


Desperately seeking suckers in England

One of our readers in England who had only the most tangential involvement in Scientology received this pitch for employment and thought we might find it interesting. Which opening is it referencing, do you think? (We know that the Dublin Ideal Org opening is tomorrow, and we suspect that this notice is for Birmingham, we just didn’t know it was coming up so fast.)

As you might have heard earlier, we are opening several brand new Ideal Scientology Organisations in the UK. Now the time has come for our next magnificent Ideal Org to open in the UK on Saturday 21 October! We have already recruited more then 150 staff for this from all over the UK and Europe. These have been trained in Los Angeles and have become total professionals in any of the positions they have been recruited for. We need however still another 50 staff members to fill the last positions and get them trained locally within the next two weeks before the opening.

Therefore you will have this career opportunity to become a staff member in this magnificent building. With all our life improvement courses, Dianetics auditing and social betterment programs, you will improve yourself to new levels, while helping others to do the same. As a result you will increase continuously your own abilities while working as part of a team to create a better civilisation.

We have still many opportunities for careers available. We need people who have skills or experience or are just keen to learn any of the following:

Personnel (HR)
Quality Control
Building Maintenance
Public Contact
Anti drug campaigns
Human Rights Activist
Human Resources
Disaster response representative
New public host
Effective education tutor
Plus more (contact us to find out what other roles are needed)

Just return this email for more information or contact me directly on the phone number below. Alternatively you can Whats App me and I can send you a video of the new Organisation.

Kind Regards,

Jamie Horton
Recruitment Agent
Church of Scientology

Tel: 07958112219


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,901 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 47 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,110 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,884 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,658 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,004 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,498 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,538 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,250 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 776 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,865 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,005 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,325 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,300 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 656 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 4,958 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,064 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,467 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,340 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 921 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,426 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,670 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,779 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on October 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 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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