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Scientology plan to shut road through its secretive ‘Int Base’ in California foiled again

Once again, the enterprising Erin Hodges Plumb of Hemet, California, was on the scene for a Scientology Watching adventure, and we have her report.

Erin is the former middle school special-needs teacher who burst on the scene recently when she managed to get invited to a mixer at Scientology’s secretive “Int Base” and brought with her a copy of Karen Pressley’s new book, Escaping Scientology. She even managed to get a photograph of the book being handled by Karen’s ex-husband, musician and Scientology lifer Peter Schless. After that escapade, Erin attended a seminar at Scientology’s Pasadena org with Marcy Sargeant, the woman who today runs the Mace-Kingsley Family Center in Clearwater, Florida, where Scientology processes are run on young children. And most recently, Erin visited Scientology’s Hollywood Celebrity Centre (2nd item) for a little fun with a security guard there.

Now, she’s back again, and she sent us an account of what she got up to last night. Here’s her dispatch…



Last week I saw a Facebook post by Scott Miller, mayor of the Riverside County town of San Jacinto, regarding a proposed road closure. That may sound like a pretty local issue, but actually it had major implications.

Scientology’s 500-acre international management compound “Int Base” — which includes its movie studios, Golden Era Productions — lies just north of San Jacinto’s city line, straddling Gilman Springs Road.


Miller’s post said the San Jacinto city council would be discussing the question of closing Gilman Springs Road to the public, something Scientology has wanted for a very long time. There were many responses to the post, with overwhelming opposition, and many asking why it was even a question at this point, since it has repeatedly been brought up over the years. In the post, you can see the mayor was a little alarmed by the response he’d already received, and was saying that he was only putting something on the agenda that another councilman had requested be put up for discussion…


The city councilman who had asked for the discussion was Andrew Kotyuk.

When I talked this over with Tony, he said he was really surprised that this was coming up now. Tony pointed out that Scientology leader David Miscavige has actually been de-emphasizing the importance of Int Base for several years, ever since it was revealed in 2009 that Miscavige had been operating the notorious prison for his own top executives there known as “The Hole.” Since then, Tony has heard that the population of Int Base has shrunk from about 800 at its height to maybe only 200 or 300 today. The studios at Golden Era have been upstaged by a fancy new set of studios in Hollywood, “Scientology Media Productions,” which opened last year. And most recently, Tony reported that some new defectors say that Miscavige hasn’t even been at Int Base in four years, even though it used to be his primary home.

And Tony points out that as Int Base declines, Miscavige is putting more importance on Clearwater, Florida and the Flag Land Base there. In fact, take a look at this flier that Mike Rinder put up at his site the other day…


If Clearwater is becoming more of a focus as Int Base is becoming such an afterthought, why would now be the time for a push to close down Gilman Springs Road, something Miscavige wanted badly for many years? I shared the mayor’s Facebook post and heard from many ex-Scientologists who were surprised that this was coming up again. Karen De La Carriere shared stories of Miscavige demanding the road closure and even punishing Sea Org members for failing to get it done.

I decided to attend the city council meeting to see what would be said in favor of closing the road. Before the meeting, Councilman Andrew Kotyuk put up his own Facebook post explaining that it was a safety concern as well as wanting to reroute traffic to local businesses to spend money. The post was later removed but a screenshot was posted.


The meeting was packed, which is not the usual case. Nine people had filled out cards, asking to speak on the subject (and I was one of them). I arrived early, and brought along some reading material for the wait.


We had to wait for some time for the council to get to the reason the room was full, as the road closure was number four on the agenda.


When the topic finally came up, the council asked what it was really discussing. At that point, Councilman Kotyuk backpedaled, denying that he wanted the road closed. He said it was simply a safety issue, and he suggested that the road might need to be widened.

Kotyuk, a conservative Republican, has announced that he’s going to challenge the state Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes for his District 42 seat, and one of the speakers last night claimed that Golden Era has donated to his campaign. I checked with the state elections website, but it’s too early to see records for the 2018 primary for Assembly campaigns to confirm that.

As other people spoke, however, Kotyuk did a lot of eye-rolling.


I was the first of the members of the public allowed to address the council. I spoke about David Miscavige wanting the road closed for more than 20 years. I shared the stories that Karen had told me of people jumping fences and racing out on motorcycles to escape the compound. I recommended they read The Unbreakable Miss Lovely and see the extent the cult takes to get its way.

Others spoke of the need for the road remaining open for various reasons. One major point is that it is a county road and not even in the city jurisdiction. Others expressed concern about mistreatment of people and suspected criminal activity at the base that should be investigated.

No one from the Church of Scientology spoke. I do not know if anyone in the room was a Scientologist.

Mayor Miller asked the council for a motion and vote to assure the people of San Jacinto that the road will never be closed. He then posted the result on Facebook.


So it turned out to be another victory for the people against the Church of Scientology.

— Erin Hodges Plumb


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,927 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 73 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,136 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,910 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,684 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,030 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,524 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,564 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,276 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 802 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,891 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,031 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,351 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,326 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 682 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 4,984 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,090 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,493 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,366 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 947 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,452 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,696 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,805 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on November 8, 2017 at 07:00

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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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